Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Do I need any tests, such as urinalysis?
- What is the likely cause of my urinary tract infection ?
- Do I need medicine? How should I take it?
- What are the possible side effects of the medicine?
- When should I expect relief from my symptoms?
- What symptoms would indicate that my infection is getting worse? What should I do if I experience these symptoms?
- I get UTIs a lot. What can I do to prevent them?
- Do I need preventive antibiotics? If so, should I be concerned about antibiotic resistance?
- My child gets UTIs a lot. Could an anatomical problem be causing his or her UTIs?
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How Can You Tell The Difference Between A Uti And Bladder Infection
Bladder infections are a type of UTI that involves the lower urinary tract, including the bladder. A bladder infection can spread to other parts of your urinary tract or kidneys if left untreated. The symptoms of bladder infections and UTIs can be similar. See a doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of a UTI, such as painful or frequent urination, pain in your central lower abdomen, or blood in your urine.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Utis
UTIs can cause such signs as:
- pain, burning, or a stinging sensation when peeing
- an increased urge or more frequent need to pee
- waking up at night a lot to go to the bathroom
- belly pain in the area of the bladder
- foul-smelling pee that may look cloudy or contain blood
If you have any symptoms of a UTI, you’ll need to go to a doctor right away. The sooner you begin treatment, the less uncomfortable you’ll be. Call your doctor’s office or clinic. If you can’t reach your doctor, you can visit an urgent care center or hospital emergency room. The most important thing is to take action as soon as possible.
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Why Do Women Get Urinary Tract Infections More Often Than Men
Women tend to get urinary tract infections more often than men because bacteria can reach the bladder more easily in women. The urethra is shorter in women than in men, so bacteria have a shorter distance to travel.
The urethra is located near the rectum in women. Bacteria from the rectum can easily travel up the urethra and cause infections. Bacteria from the rectum is more likely to get into the urethra if you wipe from back to front after a bowel movement. Be sure to teach children how to wipe correctly.
Having sex may also cause urinary tract infections in women because bacteria can be pushed into the urethra. Using a diaphragm can lead to infections because diaphragms push against the urethra and make it harder to completely empty your bladder. The urine that stays in the bladder is more likely to grow bacteria and cause infections.
What Is A Uti
A urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria or other microbes, usually fecal flora, enter the urinary tract and cause an infection. The urinary tract is the bodys system for collecting and eliminating urine and includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra.
UTIs can affect several parts of the urinary tract. Most UTIs occur in the bladder , but they may also involve the kidneys , urethra , or prostate . UTIs are common, most frequently affecting women, resulting in more than 8.1 million visits to a doctor each year.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Uti
One of the most common symptoms of a UTI is a frequent and urgent need to pee. You might feel like you need to pee all the time, even if you just went. Other UTI symptoms include:
pain or burning when you pee
bad-smelling or cloudy urine
blood or pus in your urine
soreness, pressure, or cramps in your lower belly, back, or sides
If the infection goes to your kidneys, your UTI symptoms may also include:
pain in your mid-back
What Are The Symptoms Of Uti
A UTI is often characterised by frequent trips to the bathroom and a burning sensation every time you urinate. Besides these signs, you may also experience
- Reddish, pinkish, cloudy white, or other odd-coloured urine
- Pain or tenderness in the area below your stomach, or in your middle back towards the sides
- Bedwetting incidences
- Not drinking enough water/fluids.
- Sexually transmitted infections such as herpes, gonorrhoea, and chlamydia
Other factors that increase your likelihood of contracting UTI include previous infections, pregnancy, changes in the vaginal flora and structural issues with the urinary tract like an enlarged prostate or a prolapsed uterus.More general factors include age and poor hygiene.
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Watch For Early Signs Of Infection
You may notice warning signs before you start to experience symptoms of UTI.
- Gritty sediment in the urine.
- Mucus in the urine. This is often a sign of high levels of bacteria in the
- Dark, cloudy or bad smelling urine.
If you notice any of these, you might be able to fend off UTI.
- Cut back on drinking liquids with alcohol, caffeine, and sugar.
- Drink more water to help wash out more of the bacteria.
- If you do intermittent catheterization, do it more often. If you use an indwelling catheter, change it.
Consider changing it again after the early signs of infection have gone away.
How Do You Get A Uti
Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are very common infections that can occur in both men and women. Any part of the urinary tract can become infected. According to the Mayo Clinic, the urinary tract is composed of the kidneys, bladder, ureters and urethra. The most common UTI is the bladder infection and the urethra . If youve been dealing with a UTI, you should understand the causes. So, how do you get a UTI?
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What is a UTI? If bacteria enter the urinary system through the urethra, they will multiply and an infection may develop. Sometimes the bodys own immune system conquer the bacteria. Occasionally, however, the body cannot keep up with the bacteria, and it develops into an infection of the urinary tract. The National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse reports that E. coli bacteria are the most frequent bacterial culprits, although other bacteria, yeast and even viruses can cause infection.
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Different types of UTIs. UTIs come in more than one form, and several conditions are considered a UTI. These different conditions will have unique symptoms and treatments. Some types of UTIs include:
How do you get a UTI? Bacteria can get into your urinary system from the gastrointestinal tract in several ways.
- Sexual intercourse
- Poor bathroom hygiene
- Delayed urination
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Urinary Tract Infections In Women
UTIs are common, particularly with increasing age. Women are more likely to get a UTI than men. Nearly 1 in 3 women will have a UTI needing treatment before the age of 24.
In women, the urethra is short and straight, making it easier for germs to travel into the bladder. For some women, UTIs relate to changes in their hormonal levels. Some are more likely to get an infection during certain times in their menstrual cycle, such as just before a period or during pregnancy.
In older women, the tissues of the urethra and bladder become thinner and drier with age as well as after menopause or a hysterectomy. This can be linked to increased UTIs.
During pregnancy, the drainage system from the kidney to the bladder widens so urine does not drain as quickly. This makes it easier to get a UTI. Sometimes germs can move from the bladder to the kidney causing a kidney infection. UTIs during pregnancy can result in increased blood pressure, so it is very important to have them treated as soon as possible.
Women are more at risk of repeated UTIs if they:
- use spermicide jelly or diaphragm for contraception
- have had a new sexual partner in the last year
- had their first UTI at or before 15 years of age
- have a family history of repeated UTIs, particularly their mother
- suffer from constipation
How Are Utis Treated
UTIs are treated with antibiotics. After several days of antibiotics, your doctor may repeat the urine tests to be sure that the infection is gone. It’s important to make sure of this because an incompletely treated UTI can come back or spread.
If someone has a lot of pain from a UTI, the doctor may recommend a medicine to help relieve the spasm and pain in the bladder. This will turn pee a bright orange color, but it’s harmless and will usually make a person much more comfortable within hours. In the case of a kidney infection, a doctor may prescribe pain medicine.
If you’ve finished all the medicine or if your symptoms aren’t much better after 2 to 3 days of treatment, contact your doctor.
Drink lots of water during and after treatment because each time you pee, the bladder cleanses itself a little bit more. Cranberry juice may also be helpful. Skip drinks that containe caffeine , such as soda and iced tea.
People who get a doctor’s help for a UTI right away should be clear of symptoms within a week. Someone with a more severe infection may need treatment in a hospital so they can get antibiotics by injection or IV .
A doctor may tell people with UTIs to avoid sex for a week or so, which lets the inflammation clear up completely.
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Can Urinary Tract Infections Be Prevented
These steps may help reduce the chance of getting UTIs:
- Drink plenty of water every day.
- Drink cranberry juice. Large amounts of vitamin C limit the growth of some bacteria by acidifying the urine. Vitamin C supplements have the same effect.
- Urinate when you feel the need. Do not wait.
- Take showers instead of tub baths.
- Clean the genital area before and after sex, and urinate shortly after sex.
- Women should not use feminine hygiene sprays or scented douches.
- Cotton underwear and loose fitting clothes help keep the area around the urethra dry. Tight clothes and nylon underwear trap moisture. This can help bacteria grow.
- Repeated bouts of urinary tract infections can be treated with small doses of regular antibiotics.
Please consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns you may have about UTIs.
Treatment From A Gp For Utis That Keep Coming Back
If your UTI comes back after treatment, or you have 2 UTIs in 6 months, a GP may:
- prescribe a different antibiotic or prescribe a low-dose antibiotic to take for up to 6 months
- prescribe a vaginal cream containing oestrogen, if you have gone through the menopause
- refer you to a specialist for further tests and treatments
In some people, antibiotics do not work or urine tests do not pick up an infection, even though you have UTI symptoms.
This may mean you have a long-term UTI that is not picked up by current urine tests. Ask the GP for a referral to a specialist for further tests and treatments.
Long-term UTIs are linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer in people aged 60 and over.
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How Do I Know If The Treatment Isnt Working
If the treatment isnt working, your symptoms will stay the same, get worse, or you will develop new symptoms. Call your doctor if you have a fever , chills, lower stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting. You should also call your doctor if, after taking medicine for 3 days, you still have a burning feeling when you urinate. If you are pregnant, you should also call your doctor if you have any contractions.
Eating Diet & Nutrition
Experts dont think eating, diet, and nutrition play a role in preventing or treating bladder infections. If you have any type of UTI, talk with a health care professional about how much to drink each day to help prevent or relieve your infection.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and other components of the National Institutes of Health conduct and support research into many diseases and conditions.
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Causes Of Urinary Tract Infections In Cats
Both sudden and chronic urinary tract infections are caused by bacterial infections. The bacteria involved in UTIs usually come from either the gastrointestinal tract or lower down the urinary/reproductive tract. If your cat is older or has other medical conditions, they are more likely to develop bacterial urinary tract problems.
What Is My Risk For Uti
Anyone can get UTI. However, people with SCI have a higher risk than normal.
- People with SCI who use an indwelling Foley or suprapubic catheter may be at higher risk for UTI than those who use a clean intermittent catheterization technique or have an external sheath or condom catheter.
- Talk to your health professional about lowering your risk for UTI if you average more than one UTI per year. Your health professional may suggest another method of bladder management that works better for you.
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Key Points About Urinary Tract Infections
- Urinary tract infections are a common health problem that affects millions of people each year. These infections can affect any part of the urinary tract.
- Most UTIs are caused by E. coli bacteria, which normally live in the colon.
- The most common symptoms of UTIs include changes in urination such as frequency, pain, or burning urine looks dark, cloudy, or red and smells bad back or side pain nausea/vomiting and fever.
- Antibiotics are used to treat UTIs. Other treatments may include pain relievers, and drinking plenty of water to help wash bacteria out of the urinary tract.
- Other things that can be done may help reduce the likelihood of developing UTIs.
Urine Infection In Men
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Most urine infections are caused by germs which come from your own bowel. They cause no harm in your bowel but can cause infection if they get into other parts of your body. Some bacteria lie around your back passage after you pass a stool . These bacteria sometimes travel to the tube which passes urine from your bladder and into your bladder. Some bacteria thrive in urine and multiply quickly to cause infection.
A urine infection is often called a urinary tract infection by doctors. When the infection is just in the bladder and urethra, this is called a lower UTI. If it travels up to affect one or both kidneys as well then it is called an upper UTI. This can be more serious than lower UTIs, as the kidneys can become damaged by the infection.
In this article
In other cases the infection occurs for no apparent reason. There is no problem with the bladder, kidney, prostate gland, or defence system that can be identified.
In the average adult patient there should be a urine output of: 0.5-1 ml/kg/hr. This means that an average 70 kg man should produce 35-70 mls an hour.
Urine output decreases in older patients and the target urine output should be 0.25-0.5 ml/kg/hr. This means that a 70 kg man who is aged over 65 years should produce 17.5-35mls per hour.
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Cranberry And Blueberry Juice
Berries like cranberries and blueberries contain bioactive ingredients that may help to get rid of a UTI fast.
Cranberries are often mentioned as a remedy for treating recurring urinary tract infections. Does scientific research support the use of cranberry juice for UTIs?
The journal Advances in Nutrition reports that cranberries have unique properties with many health benefits. Various studies point to the fact that cranberry juice can help lower instances of UTIs by preventing bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract. It was found that women who consumed 300 mL cranberry juice daily had lower UTI infection rates.14
Other studies have shown that cranberry extract capsules could help to reduce occurrences of UTIs in some women by up to 70%. Some independent studies have shown that cranberry juice can help to treat recurring UTIs in children.14
However, some other studies have demonstrated mixed results. Therefore urologist Dr. Courtenay Moore says that taking cranberry juice for UTIs may help and cant hurt. So, it may be worth trying to increase the amount of cranberry juice you consume if you battle against a UTI.15
If you consume cranberries in a juice form, make sure it has a high content of fruit and the minimum amount of sugar possible.
How To Feel Better
If your healthcare professional prescribes you antibiotics:
- Take antibiotics exactly as your healthcare professional tells you.
- Do not share your antibiotics with others.
- Do not save antibiotics for later. Talk to your healthcare professional about safely discarding leftover antibiotics.
Drink plenty of water or other fluids. Your healthcare professional might also recommend medicine to help lessen the pain or discomfort. Talk with your healthcare professional if you have any questions about your antibiotics.
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Other Ways To Prevent Some Utis Coming Back
If you keep getting a bladder infection , there’s some evidence it may be helpful to take:
- D-mannose a sugar you can buy as a powder or tablets to take every day
- cranberry products available as juice, tablets or capsules to take every day
Speak to your doctor before taking any of these during pregnancy.
Be aware that D-mannose and cranberry products can contain a lot of sugar.
If you’re taking warfarin, you should avoid cranberry products.
Page last reviewed: 22 March 2022 Next review due: 22 March 2025