What to know about urinary tract infections

  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Prevention
  • Diagnosis
  • In men
  • Treatment
  • Home remedies

We include products that we find useful to our readers. If you buy through the links on this page, we may earn a small commission. This is our process.
Urinary tract infections are caused by microbes like bacteria that overwhelm the body's defenses in the urinary tract. They can affect the kidneys, bladder, and the tubes that run between them.
They are one of the most common types of infection, accounting for about 8.1 million visits to the doctor each year.
The urinary tract can be divided into upper urinary tract and lower urinary tract. The upper urinary tract is made up of the kidneys and ureters, and the lower urinary tract is made up of the bladder and urethra.

Fast facts on urinary tract infections

    • Women have a lifetime risk of more than 50 percent of developing a urinary tract infection (UTI).
    • The most common symptoms are a strong and frequent urge to urinate and a painful, burning sensation when urinating.
    • A UTI is usually diagnosed based on symptoms and analysis of a urine sample.
    • UTI can be cured with 2 or 3 days of treatment.
    • Blueberry extracts do not treat UTIs, but they can help reduce the risk of recurrent UTIs.
    • Blueberry extracts do not treat UTIs, but they can help reduce the risk of recurrent UTIs.


Many people will experience UTI in their lifetime.
The vast majority of urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by the bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli), which is usually found in the digestive system. Chlamydia and mycoplasma bacteria can infect the urethra but not the bladder.
Urinary tract infections go by different names depending on where they occur. For example:

  • An infection of the bladder is called cystitis.
  • An infection of the urethra is called urethritis.
  • A kidney infection is called pyelonephritis.

The ureters are very rarely the site of infection.

Risk factor's

More than 50 percent of all women will experience at least one UTI in their lifetime, and between 20 and 30 percent will experience recurrent UTIs.
Pregnant women are not more likely to develop a UTI than other women, but if one does occur, it is more likely to reach the kidneys. This is due to changes that occur in the body during pregnancy and that affect the urinary tract.
Because a UTI in pregnancy can be dangerous to both the health of the mother and the baby, most pregnant women are tested for bacteria in their urine, even without symptoms, and treated with antibiotics. to prevent its spread.
People of any age and gender can develop a UTI. However, some people are more at risk than others. The following factors can increase the chance of developing a UTI:

  • sexual intercourse, especially if it is more frequent, intense, and with multiple or new partners
  • diabetes
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Trouble completely emptying the bladder
  • Have a urinary catheter
  • Bowel incontinence
  • Blockage of urine flow
  • Kidney stones
  • Some forms of contraception
  • pregnancy
  • menopause
  • Procedures that affect the urinary tract
  • Depressed immune system
  • immobility for a long period
  • use of spermicides and tampons
  • intensive use of antibiotics, which can alter the natural flora of the intestine and urinary tract


Symptoms of a UTI can depend on age, gender, the presence of a catheter, and the part of the urinary tract that has become infected.
The most common symptoms of a UTI are:

    • Strong and frequent urge to urinate
    • Cloudy, bloody, or strong-smelling urine
    • Pain or burning sensation when urinating
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Muscle and abdominal pain

People with tubes may experience only fever as a symptom, making diagnosis difficult.
Acute pyelonephritis
Acute pyelonephritis is a sudden and serious kidney infection. If an individual develops this condition, they may also experience upper back and side pain, high fever, tremors, chills, fatigue, and mental changes. It is considered an emergency and should be evaluated by a doctor immediately if suspected.
If a person has a bladder infection, they may also experience a low-grade fever, and pressure and cramps in the abdomen and lower back.


Most bladder infections are not serious, but some can cause serious problems, especially upper bladder infections.
Recurrent or long-lasting kidney infections can cause permanent damage, and some sudden kidney infections can be life-threatening, especially if bacteria enter the bloodstream in a condition known as septicemia.
They can also increase the risk of women delivering premature or low-birth-weight babies.


Showering instead of bathing can help prevent UTIs.
There are several steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of developing a UTI:

  • Drink lots of water and urinate frequently.
  • Avoid liquids like alcohol and caffeine that can irritate the bladder.
  • People with health problems must urinate frequently.
  • Urinate shortly after having sex.
  • Wipe from front to back after urinating and defecating.
  • Keep the genital area clean.
  • It is preferable to shower than to bathe and avoid the use of oils.
  • Menstrual pads or cups are preferable to tampons. If you want to buy menstrual cups, then there is an excellent selection on Amazon with thousands of customer reviews.
  • Avoid using a diaphragm or spermicide for birth control.
  • Avoid using any scented product on the genital area.
  • Wear cotton underwear and loose fitting clothing to keep the area around the urethra dry.
  • People are advised to contact a doctor if they develop the symptoms of a UTI, especially if they have developed the symptoms of a possible kidney infection.


Diagnosis is usually made by asking about symptoms and testing a urine sample for white blood cells, red blood cells, and bacteria.
A urine collection method called "clean catch" is used. This requires the person to wash the genital area before providing a midstream urine sample. This helps prevent bacteria from the genital area from being trapped in the sample.
If a person has recurring UTIs, the doctor may order further diagnostic tests to determine if anatomical or functional problems are to blame. Such tests can include:

  • Diagnostic imaging: It involves evaluating the urinary tract using ultrasound, CT and MRI, radiation tracing, or X-rays.
  • Urodynamics- This procedure determines the degree of storage and release of urine from the urinary tract.
  • For example, the urine of a one-year-old child.
  • CystoscopyThis diagnostic test allows the doctor to view the inside of the bladder and urethra with the lens of a camera, which is inserted through the urethra through a long, thin tube.
  • The urethra is the part of the body where urine is found.

In men

UTIs in men are rare. The incidence for men under the age of 50 is between 5 and 8 men per 10,000. The risk of infection increases with age.
When men contract a UTI, it infects the same organs and areas as a UTI in women. However, in the case of men, the prostate is also at risk of becoming infected.
A man with a circumcised penis is less likely to get a UTI than a man who has not undergone circumcision.
Treatment methods would be similar to those used to treat UTIs in women.


[img]Share on PinterestDrinking plenty of water helps eliminate UTIs and lowers the risk of future infections.
Since UTIs are usually caused by bacteria, the most common is to treat them with antibiotics or antimicrobials.
The type of medication and the duration of treatment will depend on the individual's symptoms and medical history.
Full treatment of UTIs should always be completed to ensure that the infection is fully resolved and to reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance. UTI symptoms may go away before the infection is completely gone.
It is always recommended to drink plenty of fluids and urinate frequently for people with a UTI, as this helps kill bacteria. Various medications can be prescribed to relieve pain. Applying a heating pad to the back or abdomen can also help.
An uncomplicated UTI It is the one that occurs in an otherwise healthy person with a normal and clear urinary tract. It usually heals with 2 or 3 days of treatment.
A complicated UTI It is the one that occurs in a person weakened by another condition, such as a pregnancy or a heart transplant. Complicated UTIs usually require longer periods of antibiotics, usually between 7 and 14 days.
To cure a UTI caused by urinary system problems, the underlying problem needs to be found and corrected. If left untreated, these infections can lead to kidney damage.
If the person is seriously ill, they may need to be admitted to a hospital to make sure they are getting enough fluids and getting the right medication. People may also need to go to the hospital if they are one of the following:

    • Pregnant and with other diseases
    • older adults
    • people with cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, or other medical problems
    • Individuals with kidney stones or other urinary tract disorders
    • recovering from recent urinary tract surgery
    • Undergo vaginal estrogen therapy if they have already gone through menopause

Home remedies

There are a number of suggested remedies that people with a UTI can try at home.
Drinking fluids and urinating frequently can help flush bacteria from the body, and using a heating pad for short periods can help ease discomfort.
It is also often said that lingonberries and their extracts can treat UTIs.
Blueberry extracts do not help Trust Source treat existing UTIs, but they can help prevent their development.
This is because cranberries contain compounds called proanthocyanidins, a reliable source that prevent E. coli adhere to the walls of the digestive and urinary tract.
In a large meta-analysis, researchers found that women with recurrent UTIs who took cranberries for 12 months had a 35 percent reduction in infections.
Another large clinical trial Trusted Source found that 500 milligrams (mg) of cranberry extract taken daily for 6 months reduced the rate of UTI to the same extent as 100 mg of trimethoprim, an antibiotic, without posing a risk of resistance to drugs. antimicrobial or superinfection in women with recurrent UTI.
Cranberry extract tablets appear to be twice as effective as cranberry juice in preventing UTIs, which may be partly due to the sugar content of cranberry juice. Blueberry extracts also contain anthocyanins and salicylic acid. This can have an analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect that can help relieve UTI symptoms.
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada recommends cranberry products to prevent recurrent UTIs, but not for use in active UTIs.
Cranberry extract tablets can be purchased online. It is recommended to speak with a doctor to determine the suitability of these tablets.
Changes in the bacterial balance of the genitourinary tract can increase the likelihood of colonization by organisms such as E. coli. Regular use of probiotics can help reduce the risk of UTIs, especially after a course of antibiotics.
Probiotics are available online as food products, like yogurts, and as supplements.
Specifically, the Bifidobacterium longum has been shown to prevent unwanted bacteria from adhering to the walls of the intestinal tract, in addition to enhancing the production of natural antibacterial chemicals and organic acids, thus reducing the likelihood of a UTI.

en_GBEnglish (UK)