UTIs are an infection of the urinary tract. They're common, particularly for women. The symptoms of UTIs include a burning sensation when you pee and white, cloudy urine. If you have this condition, you may notice pain in your lower abdomen or back as well as increased urination (you'll need to go more often than usual).
UTIs usually clear up within a few days with treatment.
Most UTIs will clear up on their own, but if you have a UTI and your symptoms last longer than a few days, see a doctor.
If your symptoms don't improve after two or three days of taking over-the-counter medicine (such as cranberry juice or probiotics), go to the doctor right away. You should also see a doctor if:
- You have an infection that doesn't get better with time
- It hurts to pee or urinate because of pain in the bladder area
Types of UTI
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the most common type of infection that affects the urinary tract.
- UTIs can affect any part of the urinary tract, including the urethra, bladder, kidneys and ureters.
Symptoms of UTI
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Urinary urgency
- Frequency of urination: frequent, especially at night and when you wake up in the morning, but not necessarily more than once an hour.
The most common symptom is a burning sensation when you pee.
Other symptoms include:
- Pain or discomfort in your lower abdomen
- Urine that looks cloudy, red or dark yellow
- Blood in your urine
- Urinary frequency and urgency
- Nausea and vomiting, especially if you're dehydrated from not drinking enough liquid (this can happen when your kidneys aren't working well enough to filter out waste products). If you have diarrhea, this can make it hard to keep up with urination—you might need to change positions or wear extra clothes while doing so. Additionally, some people with UTI may experience blood in their urine (hematuria). This is most common among young girls who haven't been sexually active yet; it's also linked with eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. If you notice blood on your underwear or bedding after urinating at night and before getting up in the morning—or if there's any other unusual amount of bright red drainage coming out of your urinary tract—it could be a sign that something else is wrong besides just having an ordinary UTI!
UTIs are common in women. Many women experience more than one UTI during their lifetimes.
Risk factors for UTIs that are specific to women include:
- Female anatomy. Women have a shorter urethra than men do. As a result, there's less distance for bacteria to travel to reach the bladder.
- Sexual activity. Being sexually active tends to lead to more UTIs. Having a new sexual partner also increases risk.
- Certain types of birth control. Using diaphragms for birth control may increase the risk of UTIs. Using spermicidal agents also can increase risk.
- Menopause. After menopause, a decline in circulating estrogen causes changes in the urinary tract. The changes can increase the risk of UTIs.
- Wash your hands before and after using the bathroom.
- Avoid using feminine hygiene products that contain fragrance or dyes.
- Avoid using scented soaps, bubble baths, or other bath products that can irritate your skin during UTI treatment.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes and pantyhose to avoid irritation on the outside of your vagina (the vulva).
Always wiping from front to back after going to the bathroom, especially after defecating.
- Always wiping from front to back after going to the bathroom, especially after defecating.
- Don't use toilet paper or any other type of cleaning tissue as it can be contaminated with germs from your hands, which then get transferred to the inside of the toilet bowl and into your body when you flush it down. Instead, use a bidet or wet wipes that have been specially designed for this purpose.
To prevent UTIs, keep your genitals clean, empty your bladder regularly, and avoid holding in urine.
- Avoid holding in urine. When you're peeing, let it flow out as soon as possible. This can help prevent UTIs because bacteria that are present in your bladder when you have a UTI are often killed by the time they reach the urethra (the tube connecting the bladder to outside), so if you hold on to them for too long, they'll cause an infection.
- Keep your genitals clean. Washing with soap and water regularly will help prevent UTIs from occurring; also avoid using douches or feminine hygiene products that contain chemicals like chlorine or triclosan as these chemicals may kill beneficial bacteria living in your vagina or rectum which could increase their risk of getting infected by harmful strains of E. coli bacteria that cause some forms of urinary tract infections (UTIs).
- Avoid tight clothing around the genital area during sex—even if it's just underwear! Tight undergarments should be worn loosely around this area since this causes friction when rubbing against each other during sexual activity causing friction burns which can lead to inflammation leading up towards an outbreak later down line where there seems no reason why anyone would need antibiotics but still needs them anyway...
UTIs are a common condition but can be easily treated. If you have any of the symptoms listed above and think that you might have a UTI, please visit your doctor for an examination and treatment.