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How To Tell If I Have A Urinary Tract Infection

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How To Prevent Uti Re

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Signs & Symptoms (& Why They Occur)

Following some tips can help you avoid getting another UTI:

  • Empty your bladder often as soon as you feel the need to pee don’t rush, and be sure you’ve emptied your bladder completely.
  • Wipe from front to back after you use the toilet.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Choose showers over baths.
  • Stay away from feminine hygiene sprays, scented douches, and scented bath products they’ll only increase irritation.
  • Cleanse your genital area before sex.
  • Pee after sex to flush out any bacteria that may have entered your urethra.
  • If you use a diaphragm, unlubricated condoms, or spermicidal jelly for birth control, you may want to switch to another method. Diaphragms can increase bacteria growth, while unlubricated condoms and spermicides can irritate your urinary tract. All can make UTI symptoms more likely.
  • Keep your genital area dry by wearing cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes. Donââ¬â¢t wear tight jeans and nylon underwear they can trap moisture, creating the perfect environment for bacteria growth.

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When To See A Doctor About A Uti

As mentioned, antibiotics are typically needed to treat a UTI, so it’s important to seek prompt care if you notice the signs of one.

Especially if:

  • Your symptoms are severe or getting worse
  • Your symptoms don’t improve after a few days
  • You’re getting recurrent UTIs

“Early and effective UTI treatment helps ensure that the infection is dealt with while it’s easiest to treat and before it progresses to the kidneys,” says Dr. Kannady. “Even a mild kidney infection can come with fairly debilitating symptoms, including fever, vomiting and intense pain. These infections also require a longer course of antibiotics.”

And the more serious the kidney infection, the greater the risk of complications. They can range from hospitalization to even permanent kidney damage or a life-threatening bloodstream infection in some cases.

In men, UTIs also can spread to the prostate and cause prostatitis which also often requires a longer course of antibiotics to treat.

“By initiating antibiotics as soon as a UTI is identified, we can greatly reduce the risk of these more complex and serious outcomes,” says Dr. Kannady.

Lastly, if your UTI symptoms don’t improve after taking antibiotics for a few days, be sure to follow up with your doctor.

How Should You Sleep With A Uti

Use an incontinence pad or wear incontinence pants. These can lessen the concern of urinating in your sleep or give you the option of not getting out of bed to urinate. Use a hot water bottle or heating pad to warm your abdomen to minimize bladder discomfort or pressure. Completely empty your bladder before bed.

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Can Urinary Tract Infections Be Prevented Or Avoided

There are many lifestyle choices that can help you prevent UTIs. These are some of the things you can do to protect yourself from them:

  • Drink plenty of water to flush out bacteria. For some people, drinking cranberry juice may also help prevent urinary tract infections. However, if youre taking warfarin, check with your doctor before using cranberry juice to prevent urinary tract infections. Your doctor may need to adjust your warfarin dose or you may need to have more frequent blood tests.
  • Dont hold your urine. Urinate when you feel like you need to. Some children dont go to the bathroom often enough. If your child does this, teach him or her to go to the bathroom several times each day.
  • Wipe from front to back after bowel movements. Teach your child to wipe correctly.
  • Urinate after having sex to help wash away bacteria.
  • Use enough lubrication during sex. Try using a small amount of lubricant before sex if youre a little dry.
  • If you get urinary tract infections often, you may want to avoid using a diaphragm as a birth control method. Ask your doctor about other birth control choices.
  • Avoid taking or giving your child bubble baths.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing , and dress your child in loose-fitting clothing.
  • If you are uncircumcised, wash the foreskin regularly. If you have an uncircumcised boy, teach him how to wash his foreskin.

When To See A Doctor For A Urinary Tract Infection


A urinary tract infection is one of those health issues that’s almost impossible to ignore.

Fortunately, though, it’s also one that’s fairly easily managed if you know the signs to be on the lookout for and what to do when you think you have one.

“UTIs are a very common type of infection that can occur in both women and men,” says Dr. Chris Kannady, a urologist at Houston Methodist. “And knowing when to see a doctor is important since, left untreated, a UTI can spread beyond the lower urinary tract and into the kidneys, which is a more serious infection that can be harder to treat.”

Read Also: Is Alkaline Water Good For Urinary Tract Infection

Your Pee Smells Like A Kitty Litter Box

Urine that smells like ammoniaa pungent chemical commonly used in kitty litter and window cleanersis one of the first really noticeable signs of a urinary tract infection, says ob-gyn Sherry Ross, MD, womens health expert and author of She-ology: The Definitive Guide To Womens Intimate Health.

Stinky pee can be a side effect of many things, ranging from medical issueslike other types of infectionsto silly things, like eating certain foods. Still, it can be difficult to know whats causing the down-there smell, so give your doc a call, Dr. Ross says.

One of the main determinants in terms of *what* type of infection youre dealing with is discharge, says ob-gyn Dr. Lady Doctor,Kelly Culwell, MD. Yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, or sexually transmitted infections will have vaginal discharge as one of the symptoms, which doesnt happen with UTIs, she notes.

Read Also: Canine Urinary Tract Infection Home Remedies

How Can You Tell If Your Horse Has A Kidney Infection

Stones in the kidney or ureter, which prevent urine from flowing normally, are a common cause. Signs of pyelonephritis include pain in the sides, especially in the area around the kidneys fever weight loss and a general sense of not feeling well. Other signs include excessive thirst or excessive urination.

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Common Signs Of Urinary Tract Infections And How To Prevent Them

Read Time: Two Minutes

By Nathan Ratchford, MDPhelps Health

If you have ever experienced a burning sensation or pain while urinating, that may be a sign of a urinary tract infection .

A urinary tract infection is typically an infection of the urinary tract, which includes the bladder, urethra, ureters and kidneys. Most UTIs occur in the lower portion of the urinary system the bladder and urethra.

While both men and women can get UTIs, women are more prone than men to getting UTIs or bladder infections. In fact, about one in five women will get a UTI in her lifetime.

Women typically have shorter urethra, and this anatomy difference makes it easier for bacteria to enter the urinary tract.

Common symptoms of UTIs may include the following:

  • Increased frequency or urge to urinate
  • Burning feeling when urinating
  • Aching feeling, pressure or pain in the abdomen, lower back or sides
  • Cloudy or bloody urine
  • Strong odor in urine

The best way to get checked for a urinary tract infection is to see your doctor and get a test called a urinalysis. This test will take a sample of your urine and check for bacteria and blood cells.

Typically, these urinalysis tests are simple, quick and are performed in the doctors office. Many patients will know test results within 48 hours.

Based on the results, if you do have a UTI, your doctor may prescribe you antibiotics to treat the infection. Over-the-counter medicines may help with pain, but do not treat UTIs.

Uti Causes And Risk Factors

How do I know if I have a UTI?

The most common cause of a UTI in the urethra is a sexually transmitted disease. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are two STDs that can cause a UTI. STDs are also the most common cause of UTIs in younger men.

Prostate problems can also cause UTIs. An enlarged prostate is common in older men and can block the flow of urine. This can increase the odds that bacteria will build up and cause a UTI.

Prostatitis, which is an infection of the prostate, shares many of the same symptoms as UTIs.

Diabetes and other medical issues that affect your immune system can also make you more likely to get a UTI.

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What To Do If You Keep Getting Utis

âItâs also important to consult your doctor if youâre getting UTIs frequently which is about three or more times per year,â Dr. Kannady recommends.

Recurrent UTIs are fairly common, and theyâre also often effectively controlled via lifestyle changes. In some cases, though, your doctor may recommend that you see a urologist for further evaluation.

âFrequent UTIs are sometimes the result of an underlying health issue, such as kidney stones or abnormalities in your kidneys, bladder, or urethra,â Dr. Kannady adds. âA urologist can rule out or diagnose and treat issues such as these, as well as provide further guidance on how to prevent UTI reoccurrence.â

How Do I Prepare For A Urinalysis

Before your urinalysis test, youll need to make sure youve drunk enough liquids, such as water, to be able to go to the bathroom and produce a urine sample.

Depending on the reason for the urinalysis, your healthcare provider may want the urine sample to be the first time you pee in the morning . Your provider will let you know if this is the case.

Certain medications can change the color of your urine. Your healthcare provider may tell you to stop taking certain medications that can affect urinalysis test results. Only stop taking medications if your provider tells you to do so.

If youre menstruating , its important to let your provider know before collecting your urine sample. Menstrual blood, as well as vaginal discharge, can interfere with certain urinalysis test results.

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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.

How To Know If You Have A Bladder Infection

Over The Counter Treatment for UTI Symptoms

Bladder infections symptoms can vary across the board, but there are some you should not ignore.

Bladder Infection Symptoms

1. Pain

2. Frequent Urination

Visiting the restroom several times in a few hours is a good indicator of a bladder infection.

3. Feeling The Urgency to Urinate

Even after emptying your bladder, the urge to go remains.

4. Unusual Urine

If you find blood in your urine, you probably have a bladder infection. A strong odor or cloudy urine can be a symptom, too.

5. Other Symptoms

Some men and women experience fever, chills, nausea, vomiting if the infection has traveled to the kidneys.

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How Is A Uti Diagnosed

To find out whether you have a UTI, your doctor or nurse will test a clean sample of your urine. This means you will first wipe your genital area with a special wipe. Then you will collect your urine in midstream in a cup. Your doctor or nurse may then test your urine for bacteria to see whether you have a UTI, which can take a few days.

If you have had a UTI before, your doctor may order more tests to rule out other problems. These tests may include:

  • A cystogram. This is a special type of x-ray of your urinary tract. These x-rays can show any problems, including swelling or kidney stones.
  • A cystoscopic exam. The cystoscope is a small tube the doctor puts into the urethra to see inside of the urethra and bladder for any problems.

What Can Happen If A Uti Is Not Treated

If treated right away, a UTI is not likely to damage your urinary tract. But if your UTI is not treated, the infection can spread to the kidneys and other parts of your body. The most common symptoms of kidney infection are fever and pain in the back where the kidneys are located. Antibiotics can also treat kidney infections.

Sometimes the infection can get in the bloodstream. This is rare but life-threatening.

Read Also: What Can You Take For Urinary Tract Infection

What Treatments Are Available For A Uti

The most common treatment for a UTI is a course of antibiotics. After a few days of treatment, your symptoms should dissipate. If they dont, and youre still experiencing pain in your bladder, your doctor may also prescribe a pain medication to numb your bladder and urethra to relieve burning while urinating.

Check If It’s A Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary Tract Infection – Overview (signs and symptoms, pathophysiology, causes and treatment)

Symptoms of a urinary tract infection may include:

  • pain or a burning sensation when peeing
  • needing to pee more often than usual during the night
  • pee that looks cloudy, dark or has a strong smell
  • needing to pee suddenly or more urgently than usual
  • needing to pee more often than usual
  • lower tummy pain or pain in your back, just under the ribs
  • a high temperature, or feeling hot and shivery
  • a very low temperature below 36C

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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

What Does A Uti Feel Like

If you have a UTI, you almost always feel it.

The most common UTI symptoms include:

  • Frequent and strong urge to urinate
  • Burning sensation, or even pain, while urinating
  • Feeling as if you are unable to empty completely while urinating
  • Having urine that is strong-smelled, cloudy or discolored
  • Pelvic pain, in some cases

âSome of these symptoms, such as a burning sensation during urination, can overlap with the symptoms of other vaginal infections, such as yeast infections which are treated very differently from UTIs,â says Dr. Kannady.

This is one reason why itâs so important to consult your doctor about UTI symptoms. He or she can determine if your symptoms are truly indicative of a UTI and run the tests needed to appropriately diagnose and treat your infection.

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Whats The Difference Between A Urinary Tract Infection And Bladder Infection

A urinary tract infection is a more general type of infection. There are many parts of your urinary tract. A UTI is a term for an infection that takes place throughout the urinary tract. A bladder infection, also called cystitis, is a specific infection. In this infection, bacteria makes its way into the bladder and causes inflammation.

Not all urinary tract infections become bladder infections. Preventing the spread of the infection is one of the most important reasons to treat a UTI quickly when you have symptoms. The infection can spread not only to the bladder, but also into your kidneys, which is a more complicated type of infection than a UTI.

How Do You Know When A Uti Is Serious

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A kidney infection is, in essence, a UTI that has spread into the kidneys. While this type of infection is rare, its also very dangerous and if youre experiencing any of the following signs of a kidney infection, you should see a doctor immediately: Upper back or side pain. Fever, shaking or chills.

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Which Infections Are Worse

NIDDK . A kidney infection is usually caused by a bladder or urethra infection where the bacteria multiply and travel upward toward the kidneys.

Kidney infections can be extremely serious and painful, sometimes leading to hospitalization to receive intravenous antibiotics. If left untreated, kidney infections due to UTIs can cause infections in the bloodstream. This can be life-threatening.

Causes Of Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections are usually caused by bacteria from poo entering the urinary tract.

The bacteria enter through the tube that carries pee out of the body .

Women have a shorter urethra than men. This means bacteria are more likely to reach the bladder or kidneys and cause an infection.

Things that increase the risk of bacteria getting into the bladder include:

  • do not use scented soap

  • do not hold your pee in if you feel the urge to go

  • do not rush when going for a pee try to fully empty your bladder

  • do not wear tight synthetic underwear, such as nylon

  • do not drink lots of alcoholic drinks, as they may irritate your bladder

  • do not have lots of sugary food or drinks, as they may encourage bacteria to grow

  • do not use condoms or a diaphragm or cap with spermicidal lube on them try non-spermicidal lube or a different type of contraception

Read Also: Natural Remedies For Urinary Retention

Why Does Green Tea Irritate My Bladder

There are a few possible reasons why green tea irritates your bladder. One possibility is that you are sensitive to the caffeine in green tea. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it increases urine production. If you drink green tea regularly, your body may become accustomed to the caffeine and produce less urine. However, if you suddenly increase your intake of green tea, your body may not be able to handle the extra caffeine and produce more urine than usual, leading to irritation. Another possibility is that the tannins in green tea can irritate the bladder. Tannins are a type of polyphenol that gives green tea its astringent taste. They can also bind to proteins in the bladder, leading to irritation. If you are prone to bladder infections, green tea may also irritate your bladder because it can promote the growth of bacteria.

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