Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection (UTI) occurs when bacteria get into your urinary system. Urinary tract infections are most often caused by bacteria in the bladder and urethra. They may spread to the ureters and kidneys if left untreated.
Urinary tract infections typically occur when bacteria enter into the urinary tract through the urethra and begin to multiply in number. The most prevalent causes of UTIs are as follows.
- Infection of the bladder, often known as cystitis, is typically caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli), a type of bacteria prevalent in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
- Infection of the urethra, also known as urethritis, occurs when GI bacteria invade the urethra. Sexually transmitted infections, such as herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and mycoplasma, may also cause urethritis.
Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection
UTIs can cause very uncomfortable symptoms including:
- Lower pelvic or abdominal pressure or discomfort
- Frequent or urgent need to urinate
- Foul-smelling urine
- Urine leakage
- Pain or burning when urinating
- Blood in urine
- Blood tests
- Pelvic examination
- Rectal examination
- Urine culture
- Imaging your urinary tract
There are two types of UTIs: simple and complicated.
Simple urinary tract infections (UTIs) occur in healthy adults with normal urinary tracts.
Complicated UTIs occur when the urinary system is atypical or when the bacterium causing the illness is resistant to multiple antibiotics. Most women have uncomplicated UTIs, while men and children have more complex UTIs.
A basic UTI may be treated with antibiotics for a short period of time. Most simple UTIs may be treated with a 3-day course of a suitable antibiotic. However, certain infections may need further treatment. Pain and the urge to urinate often go away after a few doses, but you should still take the full course of the antibiotic to ensure all the UTI is treated, even if you feel better. UTIs often recur until they are completely cured. You should also drink lots of fluids, particularly if you have a UTI.
Postmenopausal women with UTIs may be helped by topical (vaginal) hormone replacement with oestrogen.
If the UTI is a complicated UTI, then a longer course of antibiotics is given. In the hospital, antibiotic treatment may be started intravenously (IV). After a brief period of IV antibiotics, the antibiotics are administered orally for up to two weeks.