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Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Symptoms

What Are The Symptoms Of A Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?

The urinary tract is comprised of the kidneys (responsible for filtering the blood), the bladder (for storing urine), the ureters (which transfers urine to the bladder), and the urethra (a tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body).

A urinary tract infection (UTI) occurs when bacteria enter the urethra and travel up into your bladder. Any infection that enters the urinary tract should be treated early with a full course of antibiotics to prevent further damage, as bacteria can continue traveling and infect the kidneys as well. Both kidney and bladder infections are considered a UTI.

“Depending on severity, once an infection reaches the kidneys it may require hospitalization.”

While women are more likely to acquire a UTI than men, it is possible for men to become infected. In either case, depending on severity, once an infection reaches the kidneys it may require hospitalization to properly monitor. Avoiding treatment can induce permanent damage in the kidneys.

Symptoms of a Bladder Infection include:

  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Burning or discomfort when urinating*
  • Blood in urine
  • Pain in the lower abdomen

    *A burning sensation is also a common sign of common vaginal infections, like Yeast Infection.

In addition to the symptoms listed above, a Kidney Infection may also include:

  • Fever (typically higher than 99.9℉)
  • Pain in one or both sides of the low back, near the kidneys)
  • Vomiting or nausea

What Causes A UTI?

While bacteria are present across different parts of human anatomy, they do not live “in” the urinary tract. They do, however, live near the urethra of women and uncircumcised men. These bacteria are the most common cause of UTI.

Circumstances that raise the risk of acquiring a UTI include:

  • Having sex frequently
  • Using spermicide for birth control
  • Recent bladder or kidney infection (within 12 months)
  • Having diabetes
  • Not being circumcised, or having insertive anal sex (men only)

How To Diagnose A UTI?

Most UTIs are diagnosed based on typical symptoms but require doctor verification for prescription meds. After experiencing a UTI one or more times, women become pretty good at detecting the early stages of a UTI and can consult a doctor quickly enough to prevent the infection from spreading.

Typically, as long as a female patient does not have vaginal irritation or discharge, and shows other common symptoms of UTI, no tests are required to prescribe antibiotics. However, due to the severity of complications that can occur with bodily infections, a doctor should always be consulted prior to taking antibiotics. Connecting with a doctor using Telehealth online care makes this process as easy and pain-free as possible.