What is it?

A UTI is caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract, leading to an infection in the bladder, urethra, ureters (urine tubes) or kidneys. If untreated, UTIs can lead to kidney infection, so it’s important to visit your doctor for early management. Common symptoms include a burning sensation when peeing and the need to frequently urinate.

What are the symptoms?

Infections of the bladder (cystitis) or urethra (tube that carries urine out of the body) are known as lower UTIs. These can cause:

  • A need to pee more often than usual.
  • Pain or discomfort when peeing.
  • Sudden urges to pee.
  • Feeling as though you’re unable to empty your bladder fully.
  • Pain low down in your tummy.
  • Urine that’s cloudy, foul-smelling or contains blood.
  • Feeling generally unwell, achy and tired.

Infections of the kidneys or ureters (tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder) are known as upper UTIs. These can cause the above symptoms and also:

  • A high temperature (fever) of 38°C (100.4ºF) or above.
  • Pain in your sides or back.
  • Shivering and chills.
  • Feeling and being sick.
  • Confusion.
  • Agitation or restlessness.

Lower UTIs are common and aren’t usually a cause for major concern. Upper UTIs can be serious if left untreated, as they could damage the kidneys or spread to the bloodstream.

What to expect?

If you are diagnosed with urinary tract infection, you can consider discussing the following subjects with your doctor after the initial treatment:

  • Some conditions may increase likelihood of having urinary tract infection such as diabetes. Do you need a stricter control of other medical conditions you may have such as diabetes?
  • Often patients with urinary tract infections are prescribed medications such as antibiotics. What treatment approach do you recommend? If the first treatment doesn’t work, what will you recommend next?
  • If left untreated, complications may occur. What are the complications you may be at risk, if left untreated? And will the infection recur?
  • Was there any specific cause found? What tests are helpful to determine the cause?
  • Once treatment is completed, how could you prevent for recurrence of UTI?

Think you might have Urinary tract infection?

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Think you might have Urinary tract infection?