Are you experiencing pain or discomfort when you urinate?
If you notice a change in the odor or color of your urine or have a burning sensation when you urinate, you may have a urinary tract infection.
UTIs are common and are responsible for at least 8 million doctor visits per year. Nearly 60% of women have at least one UTI in their lifetime according to the Urology Care Foundation.
If you are experiencing a UTI, it is important to seek treatment as UTIs can lead to further complications if not treated. Keep reading to learn more about the signs and symptoms of a UTI and when to see a doctor.
What is a UTI?
A UTI is an infection in your urinary system, which is responsible for draining urine from your body. The urinary tract includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. An infection can occur when bacteria or yeast accumulates in your urinary tract and can cause pain and discomfort.
Women are 30 times more likely to develop a UTI than men according to the Office on Women’s Health. UTIs can be extremely painful and require immediate attention. If a UTI spreads to your kidneys, severe consequences occur.
What Are the Symptoms?
You may have a UTI if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- A burning sensation when you urinate
- A frequent or intense urge to urinate
- Dark, bloody, or cloudy urine
- Tiredness or shakiness
- Fever or chills
- Pain or pressure in your back or lower abdomen
What Are the Types of UTIs?
UTIs can develop in different parts of your urinary tract and include the following types:
Cystitis occurs in your bladder and gives you the sensation of “needing to pee frequently.” You may also experience pain when you pee, have lower belly pain, pelvic pressure, or have cloudy or bloody urine.
Pyelonephritis develops in the kidneys. Its symptoms include fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and pain in your upper backside or kidneys.
Urethritis occurs in the urethra and can cause discharge and a burning sensation when urinating.
Causes of UTIs
UTIs can develop for a plethora of reasons including your genes, improper cleansing, sexual activity, menopause, or certain types of birth control. Typically, UTIs occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract and travel up to your bladder. If the infection goes untreated, it can severely affect your kidneys.
Women have shorter urethras than men, which makes them more prone to UTIs than their counterparts. This makes it easier for bacteria to travel up to their bladder and cause an infection. Some women are also more inclined to get a UTI because of their genes. The shape of their urinary tract makes some women more likely to be infected than others. Sexual activity can introduce bacteria into your urinary tract as well.
Women who have other health conditions such as kidney stones, stroke, multiple sclerosis, or diabetes may also be at higher risk for a UTI due to their weakened immune system. A weakened immune system makes it harder to fight off infections.
Treatment for UTIs
Schedule an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor will ask you to provide a urine sample to test for a UTI. If the test determines an infection to be present in your urinary tract, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to get rid of the infection and help soothe the pain.
Other methods of treatment for a UTI include drinking lots of water to help flush out the bacteria from your body and/or cranberry juice according to webmd.com. Cranberry juice contains tannin which prevents E. coli bacteria from sticking to the walls of your bladder and causing an infection.
How Can Trusted ER Help You?
It is important to know the signs and symptoms of a UTI as it can develop into a much more serious condition if it reaches your kidneys.
If you feel you’re experiencing a UTI, seek emergency care at one of our Trusted ER locations near you. At Trusted Medical, we are here for you and ready to treat any illness or injury.
We have 8 locations where we provide the best-in-class healthcare to patients in the most comfortable environment with exceptional care. Our ER offers limited wait times, as each of our patients is roomed and seen by our clinical team within a few minutes, and we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Trusted ER is “Doing the right thing. Every patient. Every time.”