What is a UTI?
A UTI (urinary tract infection) is an infection that affects a person’s kidneys, ureters, bladder, or urethra. Men and women can get a UTI. When treated early, most UTIs will only infect the bladder or urethra. In only extreme cases will a UTI reach your kidneys.
How are UTIs Treated and How Long Do They Last?
UTIs are typically treated with antibiotics. UTI symptoms normally start going away a few days after antibiotics are taken, but it’s important to continue taking all the prescribed antibiotics until what the doctor has given you is finished. An entire regimen of prescribed antibiotics may take a week or more to complete.
A UTI can cause serious, long-lasting effects if left untreated.
What are the Symptoms of a UTI?
The most common signs of a UTI are a strong urge to urinate that won’t go away and a burning sensation when you do urinate.
Other signs include:
- Passing small but frequent amounts of urine
- Cloudy urine, red, or pink urine (all signs of blood in urine)
- Strong urine odor
- For women: pain in the center of the pelvis
What Causes UTIs?
UTIs are caused when bacteria enter the urinary tract (through the urethra) and multiply in the bladder.
The most common causes of UTIs are:
- Feminine products
- Holding off urinating for too long
- Birth control
- Kidney stones
- Uncontrolled diabetes
How Do I Avoid a UTI?
You can lower your chances of getting a UTI if you:
- Urinate no more than 30 mins after having sex.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Urinate every 6 hours during the day.
- For women: avoid using douches or powders in the genital area and change pads and tampons constantly when menstruating.
- For women: avoid using diaphragms and unlubricated or spermicide-treated condoms.