Urinary Tract Infection Overview:

Urinary tract infections (UTI) are bacterial infections of the urinary tract.  The urinary tract is the organ system that creates, stores, and removes urine from the body.  This particular infection is usually caused by the bacteria E. coli.  This bacterium usually attacks the bladder (cystitis), but it sometimes causes an infection in the kidney (pyelonephritis).  Women are diagnosed with urinary tract infections more often than men.  Approximately 50% of all women will experience at least one urinary tract infection in their lifetime.  A doctor can diagnose this particular infection by looking for while blood cells in the urine.  Antibiotics can be used to treat this painful infection.

Urinary Tract Infection Causes:

A urinary tract infection is commonly caused when bacteria enters the urinary tract through the urethra.  A plethora of bacteria resides on the skin around the rectum or vagina.  When these bacteria enter the urethra, they travel up the organ system ending in the bladder or kidney and multiply causing an infection.  There are many causes for bacteria to enter the urethra but the most common is sexual intercourse.  During intercourse, the penis often moves some of the surrounding bacteria into the urethra and moves it towards the organs.  Another common cause of urinary tract infections is waiting too long to urinate.  This causes the bladder’s muscles to stretch and weaken over time.  When the bladder walls weaken, a little urine is left each time and this can lead to infections.

Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms:

Symptoms of a urinary tract infection include a burning or painful sensation when one is urinating.  Another symptom that is difficult to ignore is a strong urge to urinate that is almost impossible to ignore.  The small amount of urine that is released each time is often tinted with blood.  After urination, many people experience soreness, or pain in the lower back.  Other symptoms include:  vomiting, back pain, chills, fever, and nausea.