What is a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of your urinary tract, which consists of your kidneys, bladder, ureter, and urethra. It occurs when bacteria enter your urinary tract and starts multiplying. In most cases, the infection takes place in the bladder and urethra.
Who is at risk of UTI?
What are the symptoms of UTI?
Not all people with UTI may show signs or symptoms, but when they do, they may include:
- Painful urination
- A strong burning sensation when urinating
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Cloudy urine
- Urine that appears pink or red
- Pain in lower part of the abdomen
If left untreated, the infection can spread to the kidneys and cause complications such as kidney damage or even renal failure. If you suspect you may be suffering from a UTI, see a urologist for early intervention.
What treatments are there for UTI?
Besides conducting a physical examination, your urologist will request for a urine sample to test for the presence of bacteria. Additional tests may also be done to eliminate other potential causes of your symptoms.
If the cause of your UTI is a bacterial infection, your urologist will prescribe antibiotics to fight against the bacteria. Remember to complete the entire course of antibiotics, even if you start feeling better. Your urologist will also advise you to drink more water, and prescribe medication to relieve the pain while urinating. Stronger antibiotics may be given intravenously if your infection is severe, or have spread to the kidneys.
If you have recurring UTIs, you will be prescribed antibiotics for a longer period of time. Your urologist may also recommend further tests to check for any underlying cause of your UTI. You can also reduce your chances of a UTI re-infection by:
- Emptying your bladder as soon as you feel the urge to urinate
- Drinking plenty of water
- Avoiding douching, or using feminine hygiene sprays
- Avoiding consuming drinks that may irritate your bladder