Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
How common is a urinary infection?
A urinary tract infection is extremely common. A urinary tract infection is also known as a UTI. This is the second most common infection in your body.
To understand how a urinary tract infection affects you, it will help to know more about the Urinary Tract.
The urinary tract
Your urinary tract includes many parts of your body, including your kidneys and bladder. You kidneys work hard to remove water and waste from the blood in your body. The water and waste combine to create your urine. The urine travels from the kidneys through two small tubes called ureters, and that urine is then stored in your bladder and held in place by your sphincter muscle. When your sphincter muscle relaxes, the urine then travels out of your body through the urethra. Simple, right? As you can see there are a few areas that are affected by the process of creating urine.
So, what goes wrong? What causes the urinary tract infection? Bacteria are the culprit of the urinary tract infection. Your urine created in your body is sterile and bacteria free, but the bacteria have to come from somewhere. Now, this part is fairly gross to imagine, but this is life, so deal with it the best you can. Bacteria can enter your body from the skin around you genitals and your rectum. The bacteria will climb up your urethra and into your bladder. This is when a bladder infection can take place, known as cystitis. Now the bacteria can continue to climb the ureters and reach you kidneys as well. This is when a kidney infection can happen, and this is when things get much more serious. A kidney infection is usually accompanied by a fever.
Urinary tract infection symptoms
How do you know if you have a urinary tract infection? Here are some signs to help you determine if you have a UTI:
- You need to urinate very often
- You feel pressure in your stomach
- You have pain or burning when you pee – Bladder infection
- You have a fever, and/or you’re tired and shaky – Kidney infection
- Your urine will smell bad
- Your urine may be cloudy
- Your urine may have a reddish urine color
Don’t ignore a urinary infection
Now, just because a urinary tract infection is very common, does not mean it should be ignored. If you have a UTI, you need to see a doctor immediately. If left untreated, a urinary tract infection can cause kidney problems. Your doctor will prescribe some medication to quickly eliminate the infection. A urinary tract infection, when treated with proper medication, such as many different types of antibiotics, will clear up within a few days.
One key to keep a urinary tract infection from happening is to urinate whenever your body needs to go. Don’t hold it in for long periods. The longer you hold it in, the more likely the bacteria can develop in the bladder. The more you pee, the more you clear out your system. This is important to keep in mind with your kids who may like to play much more than taking bathroom breaks.