Urinary Tract - Bladder Infection

This is a bacterial infection of the urinary tract. This includes an infection in the bladder, kidney, ureters or urethra.

This is a bacterial infection of the urinary tract. This includes an infection in the bladder, kidney, ureters or urethra.

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection of the urinary tract. This includes:

  • The kidneys, where urine is made
  • The bladder, where urine is stored
  • The ureters, the tubes from the kidneys to the bladder
  • The urethra, the tube from the bladder to the outside of the body

The most common sites of a urinary tract infection are the bladder and kidneys. The symptoms depend on a number of factors, including where the infection is in the urinary tract.

  • An infection of the kidney is called pyelonephritis. Pyelonephritis can cause shaking chills or sweating at night, fever, back or groin pain, skin that is warm and flushed, nausea and vomiting. Occasionally severe abdominal pain is present. This is a serious infection and requires prompt treatment.
  • An infection of the bladder is called cystitis. Cystitis can cause cloudy or bloody urine, painful urination and a strong urge to urinate frequently.

A urinary tract infection is usually caused by bacteria. The bacteria usually enter the urinary tract through the urethra and can travel upwards toward the kidneys. Conditions that can decrease the body's ability to control the growth of the bacteria include:

  • Diabetes, enlarged prostate or other urinary tract problems
  • Advanced age (especially people in nursing homes)
  • Not moving for long periods of time
  • A history of kidney stones
  • Not being able to control your bowels
  • Having a catheter in place to drain urine
  • Pregnancy

In addition, urinary tract infections are more common in women because their urethras are shorter and closer to their anus, which is a source of bacteria.

Contact your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of a urinary tract infection. He or she can do a urine test and order an antibiotic if a urinary tract infection is diagnosed. Some other medications may also be ordered to help relieve painful urination due to a urinary tract infection. In addition, there are things you can do at home to decrease your symptoms and help prevent future UTIs.

  • Drink plenty of fluids, but avoid those that can cause bladder irritation (e.g. alcohol and caffeinated beverages). Cranberry juice is frequently recommended, but its effectiveness is controversial.
  • Make sure to keep your genital area clean. Many experts recommend that women always wipe from front to back after using the bathroom.
  • Avoid wearing tight pants.

People who have frequent urinary tract infections, or infections that do not go away with medications, may be referred to a urologist for further evaluation and treatment.

You should contact your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of a urinary tract infection. Be prepared to discuss your symptoms and how long you have had them.

  • Bring a copy of your medical history (past illnesses, surgeries, and hospitalizations).
  • Make a list of your medications (including over-the-counter).
  • Write down any questions, symptoms or concerns you want to talk about.
  • If your healthcare provider prescribes a medication for you, ask for a generic version. If your doctor thinks that a generic version is not right for you, ask for a medication on the lowest available tier of your Prescription Drug List (PDL).

Here are some questions to ask your healthcare provider.

  • Do I need to see a specialist?
  • What are some of the complications of urinary tract infections? Am I at high risk for complications?
  • What treatment, if any, are you recommending? What options are available?
  • If medication is recommended, how long will I need to take it? What are the possible side effects?
  • How long will it take my symptoms to improve?
  • What are my follow-up plans and what symptoms should I report before my next appointment?
  • How can I prevent future urinary tract infections?

Source UHC.com

Also known as:

Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary Tract - Bladder Infection
Test for Urinary Tract Infection
Painful Urination
Frequent Urination
Burning Urination
Bladder Infection
Bad Smelling Urine

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