Is It Possible To Have A Uti Without Any Symptoms
Yes. Symptoms of a UTI can vary, and its not entirely uncommon for someone to experience no symptoms of a urinary tract infection. Its estimated that 1 to 5 percent of younger women experience asymptomatic bacteriuria , which is a UTI without the classic symptoms. While its unclear why the bacteria involved with urinary tract infections sometimes dont cause symptoms for these people, we do know that instances of symptom-free UTIs increase with age. Up to 16 percent of women older than 65 have been found to have ASB, and that number grows to almost 20 percent for women over 80. Other factors that increase your chances of an asymptomatic UTI are:
- Urinary catheter use
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Symptoms Of An Infection
In many cases, back pain is related to an injury or a degenerative condition, such as arthritis. But in some cases, the pain in your back has nothing to do with getting hurt. Although spinal infections arent common, they can be difficult to diagnose based on symptoms alone.
The reason spinal infections are sometimes missed is because they dont always present with body-wide symptoms, like a fever. In the early stages, the only sign of an infection you might have is back tenderness that doesnt seem to get better.
As the infection progresses, more symptoms become apparent, which should clue you in that theres a problem. Often, back pain is one of those symptoms, along with others like:
Another clue that your pain isnt normal back pain is that the discomfort doesnt seem to get any better, even with rest and medications. In fact, the pain usually gets worse, especially with certain movements.
Prevention Of Kidney Infections
Kidney infections are the result of bladder infections migrating to one or both kidneys. Here are some methods to reduce your risk of UTIs and kidney infections:
- Maintain personal hygiene habits such as washing your genitals and wiping front to back.
- Individuals with indwelling bladder catheters should remember to have their catheters changed regularly to avoid irritation and infection. Additionally, make sure to clean and monitor the area surrounding where the catheter enters the urethra.
- Urinate when you need to. Dont hold it, and try to empty your bladder completely.
- Urinate soon after sex, and make sure to practice safe sex in general.
- Diaphragms, unlubricated condoms, and spermicidal lubes can potentially contribute to infection. Consider switching to different birth control methods if recurring infections are an issue.
If you suffer any symptoms of a urinary tract or kidney infection, talk to your doctor immediately. The faster you act, the more effective the treatment will be. If you experience any of these symptoms, call or book online with PlushCare to set up a phone or video appointment with an experienced doctor today.
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What Is The Urinary Tract
The urinary tract makes and stores urine, one of the body’s liquid waste products. The urinary tract includes the following parts:
- Kidneys: These small organs are located on back of your body, just above the hips. They are the filters of your body removing waste and water from your blood. This waste becomes urine.
- Ureters: The ureters are thin tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to your bladder.
- Bladder: A sac-like container, the bladder stores your urine before it leaves the body.
- Urethra: This tube carries the urine from your bladder to the outside of the body.
Six Factors That Cause Intense Back Pain
If youre experiencing back pain, its important to pay attention to the most common causes, including:
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Burning Sensation You May Have A Uti
A urinary tract infection or UTI happens in millions of Americans each year. A UTI can cause pain during urination and more commonly affects women. Several signs show the severity of the infection. These include intense back pain. Understanding whats happening during a UTI can help people get the right treatment right away.
How Do You Know If A Uti Has Spread To Your Kidneys
Kidney infections usually present with a fever, chills, and back pain.
The main difference between UTI and kidney infection symptoms is:
The most common kidney infection symptoms include:
- Severe flank pain
Kidney back pain is concentrated on the back in between the ribs and hips. Constant dull or severe pain is usually reported. Pain increases with increase fluid intake or if someone presses on your back.
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How To Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs are unpleasant enough that most women will try anything to avoid getting one. Mann discusses some simple lifestyle changes that might help you prevent UTIs. These steps help reduce the chance of bacteria entering the urinary tract, which is the main cause of UTIs. Make sure to:
- Empty your bladder more often: Dont hold it when you feel the urge to go. Mann says that you should empty your bladder at least every four hours during the day. And urinating immediately after intercourse can help wash bacteria away from the urethral opening.
- Drink more water: Studies have shown people who drink more water are less likely to have recurrent urinary tract infections. Mann suggests that you drink at least 2 liters of water daily.
- Try a different birth control: If you have repeated urinary tract infections, you may want to avoid using a diaphragm and spermicide, including spermicidal condoms. Talk to your doctor or clinician about other birth control options that can lower your risk for UTIs.
Pyelonephritis Or Kidney Infection
When there is an infection in the kidneys due to ascending bacteria, it is one of the most common urinary tract infections. If the infection is mild, it can show a low fever if the infection is severe, you might have a high fever, nausea, flank, or loin pain. If the fever persists, then it is better to seek medical treatment.
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Seattle Children’s Urgent Care Locations
If your childs illness or injury is life-threatening, call 911.
Treatment for a Bladder Infection
Prevention of Bladder Infections in Girls
How To Prevent Utis
While some people are more likely to get UTIs than others because of their anatomy, there are things everyone can do to prevent UTIs.
Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. This will help flush your urinary tract, stopping bacteria from building up.
Always go to the toilet when you feel the need to urinate dont hold on. When it comes to timing, nature knows best!
Always urinate after having sex to flush out any bacteria that might have been pushed into the urethra. This goes for men and women.
Wear cotton underwear rather than silk, nylon or spandex, and avoid wearing tight fitting clothes that dont allow your downtown to breathe. Bacteria thrive in warm, moist areas, so wear loose-fitting cotton clothing to avoid setting up their ideal environment.
Looking after yourself by eating a healthy diet, doing plenty of physical activity and getting good quality sleep will help your immune system stay strong and keep bacteria in check.
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Avoid Food And Beverages That May Irritate The Bladder
The most common bladder irritants are alcohol, caffeinated drinks, carbonated beverages, and spicy dishes.
Both caffeine and alcohol have been found to increase bladder spasming, which can make UTI pain worse. And when men and women increased their intake of coffee or soda, they had higher chances of getting UTI symptoms.
In addition to the above prevention methods, women can also:
- Avoid contraceptive methods that contain spermicide
- Avoid using a diaphragm as a birth control method
- Avoid the use of feminine products on genital regions, such as deodorant sprays and douches, which have the potential to irritate the urethra
- Receive vaccination against certain E. coli strains
Treatment Of Kidney Infection
Most kidney infections need prompt treatment with antibiotics to stop the infection damaging the kidneys or spreading to the bloodstream.
You may also need painkillers.
If you’re especially vulnerable to the effects of an infection , you may be admitted to hospital and treated with antibiotics through a drip.
Most people who are diagnosed and treated promptly with antibiotics feel completely better after about 2 weeks.
People who are older or have underlying conditions may take longer to recover.
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When To See A Doctor
Flank pain can be tricky to diagnose and require a few different tests to pinpoint the problem. Its always best to talk to your primary care doctor if you have unexplained pain that doesnt go away. You should also call your doctor right away if you have signs of an infection, such as fever, fatigue, or body aches.
Visit the UPMC Department of Urology to learn more about these conditions, which may result in flank pain or to schedule an appointment with one of our urologists.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on January 21, 2016, and was last reviewed on January 12, 2021
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.
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Potential Causes Of Pain In Lower Back Kidney Area
When experiencing back pain, musculoskeletal problems are usually the culprit. Occasionally, however, pain in the lower back kidney area is a symptom of kidney-related troubles. If you experience pain in your lower back as well as pain radiating to your side and your groin, your kidneys are a likely culprit. If urinary problems or a fever accompany the pain, a kidney problem is even more likely. Heres everything you need to know about pain in the kidney area .
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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.
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Does Cranberry Juice Prevent A Urinary Tract Infection
Many people say that cranberry juice can help treat, or even prevent, a UTI. Researchers are currently looking into the topic, but havent found a definitive answer yet. Healthcare providers recommend drinking lots of fluids if you have, or have a history of getting, a UTI. Adding a glass of unsweetened cranberry juice to your diet isnt a proven way to prevent a UTI, but it typically wont hurt you either.
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, youll need to go to a doctor right away. The sooner you begin treatment, the less uncomfortable youll be. Call your doctors office or clinic. If you cant 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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Can I Become Immune To The Antibiotics Used To Treat A Uti
Your body can actually get used to the antibiotics typically used to treat a urinary tract infection . This happens in people who have very frequent infections. With each UTI and use of antibiotics to treat it, the infection adapts and becomes harder to fight. This is called an antibiotic-resistant infection. Because of this, your healthcare provider may suggest alternative treatments if you have frequent UTIs. These could include:
- Waiting: Your provider may suggest that you watch your symptoms and wait. During this time, you may be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids in an effort to flush out your system.
- Intravenous treatment: In some very complicated cases, where the UTI is resistant to antibiotics or the infection has moved to your kidneys, you may need to be treated in the hospital. The medicine will be given to you directly in your vein . Once youre home, you will be prescribed antibiotics for a period of time to fully get rid of the infection.
How Are Utis Diagnosed
Only a health care provider can treat urinary tract infections. The first thing a doctor will do is confirm that a person has a UTI by taking a clean-catch urine specimen. At the doctors office, youll be asked to clean your genital area with disposable wipes and then pee into a sterile cup.
The sample may be used for a urinalysis or a urine culture . Knowing what bacteria are causing the infection can help your doctor choose the best treatment.
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Upper Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms
In addition to the symptoms above, the presence of the following symptoms may indicate that the affected person is suffering from an upper urinary tract infection:
- Pain and/or aches between the upper abdomen and the back, known as flank pain
- Signs of confusion, disorientation and/or agitation may occur, especially in elderly patients
Good to know: Upper urinary tract infection symptoms are similar in both men and women.
If you are experiencing possible symptoms of a urinary tract infection, carry out a symptom assessment with the free Ada app.
Treatment For Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are typically treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics are drugs that combat infection and eradicate bacteria. The medication chosen by your doctor will be the one that works the best against the specific bacteria causing your infection.
Nitrofurantoin, Sulfonamides, Amoxicillin, Cephalosporins, Trimethoprim/Sulfamethoxazole, Doxycycline, and Quinolones are a few examples of regularly used antibiotics.
You must take the medication according to your doctors instructions. Dont stop taking antibiotics just because you feel better and your symptoms disappear. It may return if the whole course of antibiotics is not used to treat the illness completely.
If you have a history of recurrent UTIs, your doctor could prescribe antibiotics for you to take as soon as your symptoms appear. In addition, to avoid the infection, doctors may prescribe antibiotics to other patients to take daily, every other day, or after sex.
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