What are the signs and symptoms of urinary tract infection?

The signs and symptoms of a urinary tract infection can differ for men and women. A urinary tract infection (or UTI) is something that can affect everybody but is more prevalent in women. In this post, we’ll take a look urinary tract infection causes, urinary tract infection symptoms and what treatments are available. 

What is a urinary tract infection?

Essentially, a UTI is an infection of any part of the urinary system. This includes: 

The kidneys
Bladder
Ureters
Urethra

As mentioned, women are more likely to contract a urinary tract infection than men. In fact, some experts put the figure at a 50-50 chance, while some women experience repeat infections. For men, the estimate of getting a UTI is about 1 in 10. 

While an infection of the bladder can be annoying and painful, more serious problems can occur if the infection spreads to the kidneys. 

Urinary tract infections are common and people of any age can develop a UTI. Pregnant women are more susceptible and at greater risk from UTI complications. 

What can cause a UTI?

There are quite a few reasons why someone could contract a UTI. Infections are caused by microbes that overcome the urinary tract’s defence mechanisms. 

One common cause of a UTI is sexual intercourse, particularly if the person is with a new partner or entertaining multiple partners. Poor personal hygiene is another contributing factor that can lead to infection of the urinary tract. 

It’s even considered that some forms of contraception can cause a UTI, as well as the use of tampons and spermicides. 

Another common cause is the use of antibiotics, as these upset the body’s natural flora found in the urinary tract and bowel. 

Not being able to completely empty the bladder or having a blocked flow of urine can also be contributing factors. 

What are the signs and symptoms of a urinary tract infection?

Let’s now take a look at urinary tract infection symptoms. 

Possibly the most common symptom that indicates a UTI is a burning sensation when urinating. Another common symptom associated with a urinary tract infection is an urge to pee all the time which is intense or frequent, yet very little urine comes out. 

Strange smelling pee which is dark or cloudy can also be a strong indicator that your urinary tract is suffering from an infection. Pain in the lower abdomen or back is also possible. 

If the infection reaches the kidneys, fever and chills can occur. 

Other symptoms can include feeling shaky or excessively tired, pelvic pain and even the presence of blood in the urine. 

Older adults may mistake the symptoms of a UTI for other conditions. 

How is a UTI treated?

Urinary tract infection treatment can depend on the extent of the infection. Antibiotics are the most common solution for both kidney UTI treatment and bladder urinary tract infection treatment

In the advent that a UTI reaches the kidneys, the results can be increased pain and fever. Therefore, paracetamol is usually recommended to reduce fever and to ease the pain. Other pain killers may also be prescribed by your physician. 

How To Prevent a UTI From Occurring 

You don’t have to suffer from the discomfort of a urinary tract infection. There are some steps you can take to prevent an infection from occurring. None are a guarantee, but taking precautions will certainly help prevent a UTI. 

Drinking plenty of water is always advised. Not only does this dilute the urine, but it also makes you go to the bathroom more regularly. This helps flush out your system. Cranberry juice is also said to help prevent UTIs. 

When using the bathroom, always wipe yourself from front to back to avoid any possibility of bacteria entering the genitals. 

For anyone who is sexually active, it’s wise to empty your bladder soon after finishing to ensure any bacteria is flushed from the genitals. 

For women, minimising the use of feminine hygiene products can also help to prevent a urinary tract infection. 

As far as birth control goes, using spermicides, douches, condoms and diaphragms lead to the possibility of the growth of bacteria. You may want to reconsider your birth control methods. 

Consult An Expert 

If you’re suffering from a UTI, or you need some advice on how to prevent a UTI from reoccurring, consult with the expert team at Katelaris Urology. We’re here to help, so give us a call and book in for an appointment today.