What is a Urinary Tract Infection?

A Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is an infection in your urinary tract. The urinary tract includes the kidneys, bladder, and urethra. A UTI can occur in any part of the urinary tract. most UTIs are bladder infections.

Symptoms

The symptoms of a UTI depend on where the infection is located. Symptoms may include:

– Cloudy or bloody urine

– Strong smelling urine

– Urinating more often than usual

– Pain or burning with urination

– Lower abdomen pain

– Fever or chills

If you have a UTI, it is important to see a healthcare provider. Untreated UTIs can lead to kidney infections, which can be serious.

Treatment

UTIs are treated with antibiotics. Your healthcare provider will prescribe the antibiotic that is best for you. You must take all of the medicine, even if you feel better. Finish the entire course of medicine to make sure the infection is gone.

Prevention

You can help prevent UTIs by:

– Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water

– Urinating often

– Wiping from front to back after using the bathroom

– Avoiding douching

– Empty your bladder soon after intercourse

– Taking showers instead of baths

– Wearing cotton underwear and loose fitting clothes

– Avoiding tight pants and jeans

– Changing out of wet clothes soon after swimming or working out

– Treating vaginal infections promptly

– Drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry pills daily (check with your provider first)