Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
What are Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)?
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are bacterial infections that occur in the urinary system, including the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. The most common cause of UTIs is bacteria, typically Escherichia coli (E. coli), which is found in the gut. UTIs can affect people of all ages and genders, but are more common in women due to the shorter length of their urethra, making it easier for bacteria to enter the bladder. Symptoms of UTIs include a strong and frequent urge to urinate, pain or burning during urination, cloudy or strong-smelling urine, and pain in the lower abdomen or back. UTIs can be treated with antibiotics prescribed by a healthcare provider, and in some cases, over-the-counter pain relief medication may also be recommended. Drinking plenty of water and urinating frequently can help flush out bacteria and reduce the risk of developing UTIs.
When is it necessary to see a doctor?
If you experience symptoms such as pain or burning during urination, frequent urination, or cloudy or strong-smelling urine, it's time to see a doctor for a UTI evaluation. A doctor can perform diagnostic tests such as a urine culture to diagnose UTIs and recommend treatment options such as antibiotics to clear the infection and prevent complications such as kidney damage.