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Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

 

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of the urinary system. The infection can occur in different parts of the urinary system including the urethra, kidneys or bladder, or a combination. One in every two women will get a UTI in their lifetime; however UTIs will only affect one in 20 males.  

 

UTIs can affect people of all ages although they most commonly affect women, the elderly and babies. Other people at a higher risk of a UTI include those with diabetes, men with prostate problems and people with urinary catheters.      

 

Causes

The urine is usually free from bacteria, however if bacteria enters the urinary system an infection can be caused. UTIs are usually caused by bacteria called E. coli, which enter into the urinary system through the urethra. This can happen as bacteria can easily be spread from the anus to the urethra.  

 

Symptoms  

Some symptoms of UTIs include:  

  • Needing to urinate more often and more urgently,  
  • Feeling that the bladder is full even after urinating,  
  • Feeling the urge to urinate but only being able to pass a few drops,  
  • A burning sensation when urinating,  
  • Blood in the urine,  
  • Urine with an off-smell,  
  • Pain near pubic bone area,  
  • Fever.  

 

Treatment  

You should seek medical advice from your doctor immediately if you suspect you have a UTI to prevent any further spread of the infection. You may require antibiotic treatment.  Make sure to drink lots of water to flush the urinary system. A hot water bottle or heat pack over your lower abdomen may help to ease discomfort.      

 

Disclaimer  

The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and is a guide only. It does not replace or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before making any decisions or taking any action based on the content of this webpage.  

 

Sources  

Better Health Channel http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Urinary_tract_infections