Urinary tract infection (uTI)
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of the urinary system. This type of infection can involve your urethra (a condition called urethritis), kidneys (a condition called pyelonephritis) or bladder, (a condition called cystitis). Your urine typically doesn’t contain bacteria (germs).
A urinary traction infection (UTI) is a very common type of infection in your urinary system. A UTI can involve any part of your urinary system, including the urethra, ureters, bladder and kidneys. Symptoms typically include needing to urinate often, having pain when urinating and feeling pain in your side or lower back. Most UTIs can be treated with an antibiotic.
How common are urinary tract infections (UTIs)?
Urinary tract infections are very common, occurring in 1 out of 5 women sometime in their lifetime. Though UTIs are common in women, they can also happen to men, older adults and children.
Who gets urinary tract infections (UTIs)?
Anyone can get a urinary tract infection, but they are more common in women. This is because the urethra (tube the carries urine out of the body) in females is shorter and closer to the anus, where E. coli bacteria are common. Older adults also are at higher risk for developing cystitis. This increased risk may be due to incomplete emptying of the bladder. There are several medical conditions that can be related to this, including an enlarged prostate or a bladder prolapse (a condition where the bladder falls or slips out of its usual position).
What are the symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
A urinary tract infection causes the lining of the urinary tract to become red and irritated (inflammation), which may produce some of the following symptoms:
- Pain in the side (flank), abdomen or pelvic area.
- Pressure in the lower pelvis.
- Frequent need to urinate (frequency), urgent need to urinate (urgency) and Incontinence (urine leakage).
- Painful urination (dysuria) and blood in the urine.
- The need to urinate at night.
- Abnormal urine color (cloudy urine) and strong or foul-smelling urine.