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.

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 affected Signs 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



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Testicular pain known as acute scrotum can occur with or with our scrotal swelling or in the absence of redness. The common causes in children are as follows:

  • Torsion of epididymis or appendix of testis (60%)
  • Torsion of testis (30%)
  • Idiopathic scrotal oedema (< 5%)
  • Epididymitis or orchitis (< 5%)
  • Tumour
  • Trauma

Image Source: Sutter Health

In all cases of acute scrotum, it is IMPORTANT to bring the child to see a paediatric surgeon as soon as possible as the testicle may die of ischemia (lack of oxygen) is the case of a testicle torsion if left untreated for more than 6-8 hours.

Torsion of the epididymis or appendix of testis
The epididymis or appendix of testis are embryonic remnants of the fallopian tube during the development of the child. These can cause torsion and the pain is felt at the upper pole of the testicle.

Torsion of the testis
Torsion of the testis affects 1 in 4,000 men. It is more common in boys who have a testicle which lies horizontally (as opposed to vertically in normal cases) known as a Bell clapper deformity. This position allows the testis room to twist around its spermatic cord causing severe pain and nausea or vomiting. It can occur at any age but more commonly between 12-18 years. Sometimes it can occur after a sports injury to the groin. This a medical emergency and requires prompt treatment.

Torsion of the testis can also occur in undescended testicle which will be felt as a tender lump in the groin.

Idiopathic Scrotal Oedema
There is swelling and redness on both scrotum with oedema but no pain.  The cause is not known but thought to be due to allergic reaction to insect bites.  Clinical examination and ultrasound test is required to make a diagnosis.  No surgery is required as the condition subsides within 2-4 days with medication such as anti-histamine.

Epididymitis is due to infection from retrograde flow of bacteria from the urine (reflux) from the urethra. The epididymis is the coiled duct behind the testicle which carries the sperm. The child usually has fever or pain when passing urine with positive bacteria culture in the urine test. Antibiotics may be required to treat this condition.

The most common tumour in the testicle is a teratoma which is hard and painless. There may be a family history of teratoma or a history of undescended testis. Clinical examination, ultrasound and MRI can differentiate a tumour from a torsion of the testis. Treatment is a combination of surgery and chemotherapy. Prognosis is good if the tumour is discovered early.

Reference: Cancer Research UK

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 Dr. Nada Sudhakaran

Dr. Nada Sudhakaran

Paediatric surgeon