A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection involving the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or urethra. These are the structures that urine passes through before being eliminated from the body.
Over 50% of all women will experience at least one UTI during their lifetime, with 20-30% experiencing recurrent UTI
- A burning feeling when you urinate
- A frequent or intense urge to urinate, even though little comes out when you do
- Pain or pressure in your back or lowerabdomen
- Cloudy, dark, bloody, or strange-smelling urine
- Feeling tired or shaky
- Fever or chills (a sign the infection may have reached yourkidneys)
- Pelvic pain, in women — especially in the center of the pelvis and around the area of the pubic bone
Urinary tract infections can have different names referring to the different parts of the urinary tract:
- Bladder infection = Cystitis
- Urethra infection = Urethritis
- Kidney Infection = Pyelonephritis.
- Sexual intercourse (especially if more frequent, intense and with multiple or new partners)
- Poor personal hygiene
- Problems emptying the bladder completely
- Having a urinary catheter
- Blocked flow of urine
- Kidney stones
- Some forms ofcontraception
- Procedures involving the urinary tract
- Suppressed immune system
- Immobility for a long period
- Use of spermicides and tampons
- Heavy use of antibiotics (which can disrupt the natural flora of the bowel and urinary tract).
When treated promptly and properly, UTIs rarely lead to complications. But left untreated, a urinary tract infection can become something more serious than a set of uncomfortable symptoms. Untreated UTIs can lead to acute or chronic kidney infections (pyelonephritis), which could permanently damage your kidneys.