A urinary tract infection (UTI) refers to the infection of any part of the urinary tract which includes kidneys, urethra, ureters, and bladder.
In defining the various types of urinary tract infections, medical providers refer to urethritis when the urinary infection is limited to the urethra, cystitis when the infectious process affects the bladder, ureteritis when the infection is located in one of the ureters, and pyelonephritis when the infection affects one of the kidneys.
The main cause of urinary tract infection is bacteria, which can enter the human body through the urethra, travel up the urinary tract, and then cause infection. Bacteria that normally reside in the large intestine, and are present in feces, tyically cause urinary tract infections. During sexual activity, bacteria residing outside the urethra may be pushed inside and result in a UTI. Women are more prone to UTI because they have shorter urethras and bacteria travels more easily into the bladder, causing an infection.
Catheters used to drain urine are frequent causes of UTI. These are small tubes inserted in the bladder to allow urine to drain.
Diabetic patients and pregnant women are more prone to having UTIs than the general population. Chances of UTI are increased if your urine is unable to flow out of the bladder due to any obstruction. This is common in people with enlarged prostate, kidney stones, or some structural issues in the urinary tract.
The common symptoms of UTIs are as follows:
- Burning sensation while urinating
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Foul smelling urine
- Blood in urine
- Fever and chills
- Pain in the middle or lower back
There are many kinds of urinary tract infection, but the three common ones are listed below:
- Urethritis: Infection of the urethra, which is the hollow tube that empties urine from the bladder to the outside of the body;
- Pyelonephritis: Infection of the kidney that has resulted from an infection or through an obstruction in the urinary tract. The hindrance in the tract causes the urine to flow back into the kidney thus causing complications.
- Cystitis: a bacterial infection in the bladder
The first line of treatment in case of urinary tract infection is antibiotics that kill the bacteria. After the particular UTI has been diagnosed by your healthcare professional, that person then prescribes a specific antibiotic to treat the infection.
Some of the commonly prescribed antibiotics are:
In case of urgent medical care assistance, AfterOurs Urgent Care offers immediate telemedicine services, where medical providers are available to offer assistance. Anyone who experiences signs and symptoms requiring urgent medical attention can simply book their appointment with AfterOurs Urgent Care to directly talk to an expert. If your medical issue is not appropriate for telemedicine, we will let you know and refer you to an in-person facility.
When to visit a doctor:
If you feel discomfort while peeing, then you should seek immediate medical assistance.
Treatment for urinary tract infection is available at AfterOurs Urgent Care.