Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

What is a urinary tract infection?

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that affects any part of your urinary system, which is the mechanism in your body that produces urine and removes it from your body. The urinary system includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. UTIs most often affect the lower part of the urinary tract, meaning the urethra and the bladder.

UTIs are caused by bacteria from the large intestine that invade the urinary system. Contamination of the urinary tract most often happens as you wipe after having a bowel movement or during sexual intercourse.

Who is at risk of getting a UTI?

Women are at a significantly higher risk than men for getting a UTI due to their anatomy, which poses a higher risk for contamination of the urinary tract.

Other risk factors include:

Use of urinary catheters
Use of a diaphragm or spermicide for birth control
Sexual intercourse

Older adults who have difficulty maintaining effective hygiene after having a bowel movement or urinating are also at higher risk of getting a UTI.

What are the symptoms of a UTI?

You may have a UTI if you have symptoms such as:

A burning sensation when you urinate
Dark, cloudy, or odd-smelling urine
Blood in urine
Pain or pressure in your low abdomen
Pain or pressure in your low back
Fever or chills
Fatigue or lower than normal energy level
The frequent sensation of needing to urinate
Abnormal leaking of urine

If you think you may have a UTI, it is essential for you to be evaluated to prevent worsening of your infection or damage to your urinary tract, including your kidneys.

What is the treatment for a UTI?

Our  team at Melrose Park Immediate Care evaluates your symptoms and orders a urine test to confirm a diagnosis of a UTI.

If you test positive, they order oral antibiotics and encourage you to increase your fluid intake. They may recommend a follow-up appointment to recheck your urine.

To avoid frequent UTIs, women should wipe front to back after using the restroom and urinate immediately after having sexual intercourse. Men, women, and children should seek treatment if you think you may have symptoms of a UTI.

If you suspect you have a UTI, call or schedule an appointment with Melrose Park Immediate Care today.