A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of your urinary system (namely kidney, ureter, bladder and urethra. Most infections involve the lower urinary tract (the bladder and the urethra).

Women are at greater risk of developing a UTI than men because of their shorter urethra. Infection limited to your bladder can be painful and annoying but serious consequences can occur if a UTI spreads to your kidneys.

Doctors typically treat urinary tract infections with antibiotics. But, you can take steps to reduce your chances of getting a UTI in the first place.

Click to view HealthChannelTV video on UTI

Causes of UTI

Urinary tract infections typically occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and begin to multiply in the bladder. Multiple sexual partners, diabetes, poor genital hygiene increases the risk of UTI.

Symptoms and Types of UTI

Part of urinary tract affectedSigns and symptoms
Kidneys (acute pyelonephritis)·      Upper back and side (flank) pain
·      High fever
·      Shaking and chills
·      Nausea
·      Vomiting
Bladder (cystitis)·      Pelvic pressure
·      Lower abdomen discomfort
·      Frequent, painful urination
·      Blood in urine
Urethra (urethritis)·      Burning with urination
·      Discharge

Preventive measures

  • Drink plenty of liquids, especially water. Drinking water helps dilute your urine and ensures that you’ll urinate more frequently — allowing bacteria to be flushed from your urinary tract before an infection can begin.
  • Wipe from front to back.  Doing so after urinating or bowel movement prevents bacteria in the anus from spreading to the vagina and urethra.
  • Empty your bladder soon after intercourse. Also, drink a full glass of water to help flush out bacteria.
  • Avoid potentially irritating feminine products. Using deodorant sprays or feminine products, such as douches and powders, in the genital area can irritate the urethra.

UTIs are normally not life threatening but if left untreated, it can lead to sepsis (life threatening complication of an infection) and you might need to be hospitalised. Most women get a urinary tract infection at least once or more during their lifetime, so if you display any of the symptoms mentioned above, please see a doctor immediately, or message our Gynaecologists on TeleMe!

Written by: Evelyn

Sources: www.mayoclinic.org, drbcshah.com

Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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