Urinary tract infections or UTIs are infections in any part of the urinary tract. They are a common health problem that affects millions of people each year. Women are especially prone to UTIs.
A UTI may affect any part of the urinary tract causing:
Normal urine is sterile and contains fluids, salts, and waste products. It does not contain bacteria, viruses, or fungi. A UTI occurs when germs, most often bacteria from the digestive tract, get into the opening of the urethra and start to multiply.
Most UTIs are caused by E. coli bacteria, which normally live in the colon.
These are the most common symptoms of a UTI:
The symptoms of UTI may look like other conditions or medical problems. Always see a health care provider for a diagnosis.
Your doctor will review your medical history and do a physical exam. Other tests may include:
If UTIs become a repeated problem, other tests may be used to see if the urinary tract is normal. These tests may include:
Your health care provider will figure out the best treatment based on:
Treatment for UTIs may include:
You may also need to make lifestyle changes such as:
These steps may help reduce the chance of getting UTIs:
Please consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns you may have about UTIs.