Urinary Tract Infection, also called UTI, is the general name given to an infection anywhere along the urinary system, including the urethra, bladder, ureters and kidney. If the infection occurs within the urethra it is termed Urethritis; within the bladder, Cystitis; and within the kidneys, Pyelonephritis.
UTI is a common disorder. Its symptoms include:
- Pain or burning when urinating
- Fever, tiredness or shakiness
- An urge to urinate often
- Pressure in the lower belly
- Urine that smells bad or looks cloudy or reddish
- Pain in the back or side below the ribs
About four times as many women get UTIs as men. Diabetes, use of a bladder drainage tube and spinal cord injury can increase the risk for UTI.
Urinalysis is the most common test for a Urinary Tract Infection. Urine is examined for white blood cells, red blood cells, bacteria and chemicals, such as nitrites.
Additional testing may include imaging such as ultrasound or CT.
UTIs are typically treated with oral antibiotics. Elderly individuals or people with co-existing conditions may require hospitalization.