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What Causes a UTI?

UTIs are common among women, and at least 50% of women will experience one in their lifetime. It is possible for men to get a UTI, however. A few different causes come into play, and symptoms can depend on your age and current health. A UTI can impact any part of your urinary tract, including your bladder or kidneys. If you believe you may have a UTI, visit AFC Urgent Care Burlington. Our physicians can diagnose your symptoms and provide treatment.

Symptoms of a UTI

Not all UTIs will have symptoms, and they may vary depending on where the infection is. With many common UTIs, symptoms will include:

  • Burning while urinating
  • A persistent urge to urinate
  • Cloudy urine that may have a strong smell
  • Pelvic pain

UTIs that are in the kidneys may also experience fever, nausea, or vomiting. Bladder infections may cause blood in the urine, and an infection in the urethra most commonly causes burning while urinating. An infection in the bladder or urethra are the most common type of UTIs.

Causes of UTI

UTIs happen when a bacteria gets into the urinary tract. It is designed to keep harmful bacteria out, but in some cases, the system may fail. E. Coli is the most common type of bacteria, and bladder infections are primarily caused through sex. Kidney infections often develop from an untreated bladder or urethra infections. That is why it’s best to get treated for UTIs soon after experiencing symptoms.

Sexual activity, certain types of birth control, and the general female anatomy are all risk factors to experience a UTI. Additionally, abnormalities or blockages in the urinary tract, illnesses that impair the immune system, or urinary procedures can also cause UTIs.

Treatment & Prevention

Since UTIs are caused by bacteria, antibiotics are the most effective form of treatment. Your physician will diagnose the UTI through a urine sample or a culture. Using a culture can help to see the type of infection, which will help to prescribe the best course of antibiotics. Symptoms typically clear up within a few days of taking the antibiotics. Depending on the severity, your physician may prescribe antibiotics for 1-3 days or a week. Pain medication can also be prescribed to help numb the bladder.

To prevent future infections, be sure to stay hydrated with plenty of water. This can help to flush out any bacteria and dilute your urine. Additionally, drinking cranberry juice can also help to ward off the infection.

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