Things you need to know
- Urinary tract infections are bacterial infections that occur in your urinary tract system.
- Urinary tract infection symptoms involve changes in your urinary habits as well as pain and discomfort.
- Urinary tract infections are more common in women than men.
Urinary tract infections
Your urinary tract includes your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. This system is responsible for filtering your blood and removing excess waste and toxins from your body in the form of urine.
Urinary tract infections occur when an organ in the urinary tract gets infected by bacteria from outside of the body. It is a highly common infection that affects both men and women but is more prevalent in women. It is because urethra in women is much shorter in length making it easier for the bacteria to enter.
Urinary tract infection symptoms
Urinary tract infection symptoms differ in patients. The symptoms usually depend on which organ of the urinary tract is infected. Sometimes, urinary tract infections do not cause any symptoms as well. However, common signs and symptoms include:
- Sudden and increased urge to urinate
- Pain and burning sensation while urinating
- Cloudy and foul-smelly urine
- Blood in urine
- Passing small amount of urine
- Pelvic pain
Urinary tract infection causes
The primary cause of urinary tract infection is the entry of bacteria in the urinary system. UTIs occur when outside bacteria enters your urinary tract and begin to multiply.
There are several factors that may increase your risk of developing a UTI. Common risk factors include:
- Being a female
- Sexual activity
- Abnormalities in the urinary tract
- Blockage in the urinary tract
- Suppressed immunity
- Surgery in the urinary tract
Urinary tract infection complications
If left untreated, urinary tract infections can lead to a range of medical conditions and concerns. These include:
- Repeated UTIs
- Chronic kidney infection
- Kidney damage
- Narrowing of urethra
Urinary tract infection treatment
UTIs are usually detected when a person presents with troubling urinary symptoms. Your healthcare provider will perform the following tests and procedures to help diagnose your condition:
- Urine sample analysis
- Urine culture
- CT scan
Urinary tract infection treatment will depend on factors like the severity of your symptoms, overall health and type of bacteria found in the urine. UTIs can be treated with medication and self-care measures.
Yes, UTIs can go away on their own without medical intervention. You can effectively flush out the bacteria by drinking plenty of water and urinating when the need arises.
The signs and symptoms of UTI include a strong, persistent urge to urinate, burning sensation while urinating and cloudy, foul-smelling urine.
Yes, stress can induce urinary tract infections by increasing the cortisol levels in your body.