Urinary Tract Infections

The most common symptoms of urinary tract infection (UTI) include: sudden urge to urinate, need to urinate more often than usual, and an uncomfortable burning sensation, cramps or pain when urinating or immediately afterward. Urinary incontinence could also be a symptom, particularly in older women. The most common type of UTI affects the lower part of the urinary tract and is called UTI, bladder infection, acute cystitis, or “honeymoon cystitis.” In most cases, doctors can treat and cure UTIs quickly and easily. An untreated lower UTI however can become a serious condition involving the kidneys. In pregnant women, untreated UTIs can affect the pregnancy and might cause premature labor. In older women, UTIs can be more serious. They can cause kidney infection, which may lead to bacteria in the bloodstream. This is more difficult to treat. UTIs occur more frequently in women than in men. They are caused by bacteria normally found in and around the vagina and the lower bowel or the anus which is very close to the opening of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. The closeness of these openings makes it relatively easy for bacteria from the vagina and anus to enter the urethra and travel the short distance to the bladder. Bacteria can be pushed into the urethra by the movement of the penis during sexual intercourse. You should see a doctor to get the right diagnosis and treatment for your condition. Several conditions, including sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), have similar symptoms, but require different treatments. Your doctor will usually diagnose UTI after asking questions about your symptoms. The doctor may also ask for a urine sample to test for an infection. If you get a positive result on one of the home tests that are available, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible. Your doctor will usually prescribe oral antibiotics for your UTI. In older women, UTIs are more likely to cause kidney infection. Therefore, women over 50 may need to take antibiotics for a longer time, or may need to be given antibiotics by injection.