Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection caused by bacteria that occurs in any part of the urinary system, such as the bladder, urethra, ureters, and kidneys. An infection of the urethra and bladder is considered a lower urinary tract infection, and an infection of the ureters and kidneys is considered an upper urinary tract infection. The most common type of a urinary tract infection is a bladder infection, also known as cystitis.

UTIs occur when bacteria enter and infect the urinary tract. Women are at a higher risk of developing a UTI than men.

Risk factors and causes include:

  • A previous UTI
  • Sexual activity
  • Pregnancy
  • Post-menopausal status
  • Urinary catheter
  • Kidney stones
  • Enlarged prostate

Common symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI) can include:

  • Pain or burning while urinating
  • Pain in the lower abdomen or back
  • Increased frequency of urination / increased urge to urinate
  • Blood in the urine.
  • Smelly, cloudy urine
  • Fever

If you are given a prescription of antibiotics to treat a diagnosed UTI, it’s important to take the medication exactly how your healthcare provider recommends. Do not skip any doses, share medication, or save any leftover pills. Drink plenty of water to help clear the bacteria from your body.

Ways to help prevent future UTIs:

  • Urinate before and after sexual activity
  • Stay well-hydrated and urinate regularly
  • Take showers instead of baths
  • Minimise douching and sprays or powders in the genital area
  • Wipe front to back after going to the toilet
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