If you’ve ever experienced burning and pain during urination, you already know that urinary tract infections are a particularly unpleasant thing to get. Unfortunately, urinary infections (UTIs) are common, with every 1 out of 2 women and 1 out of 10 men being likely to experience at least one in their lifetime. In addition, UTIs can progress from uncomfortable symptoms to more serious conditions like kidney infections if left untreated, so it’s essential to know when to see a doctor. 


What is A Urinary Tract Infection?


Urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of any part of the urinary system, including kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. The most common places UTIs occur are the bladder and the urethra. The following are the names for UTIs of specific urinary tract regions:

  • Cystitis (bladder): You may experience pain with urinating, have frequent urination, and lower belly pain, as well as cloudy or bloody urine.
  • Pyelonephritis (kidneys): Pyelonephritis can cause fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and pain in your upper back or in your side. 
  • Urethritis (urethra): Urethritis can cause pain and burning with urination. 

What Are the Symptoms of a UTI?


Sometimes UTIs can be mild and not cause any symptoms at all. Other times symptoms can include:


  • Strong, persistent urge to urinate
  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Frequent need to urinate, with small amounts of urine coming out each time
  • Cloudy urine
  • Red, bright pink, or cola-colored urine — a sign of blood in the urine
  • Strong-smelling urine
  • Pelvic pain

What Causes UTIs?


Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria like E. coli enter the urethra and begin to multiply. From there, bacteria can travel up to your bladder, and if the infection is not treated, up to your kidneys. The following are some of the things that increase your chances of developing a UTI:

  • Sexual activity
  • Tight-fitting underwear
  • Your anatomy
  • Diabetes
  • Hormone changes
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Kidney stones
  • Stroke

Treatment for UTIs


The most common treatment for UTIs is a course of antibiotics. Your doctor will most likely run a urine test to see which bacteria is causing the infection and prescribe a bacteria-specific antibiotic. 

 Drinking lots of water can also help flush out the bacteria from your body. And over the counter, UTI pain medications and heat may help relieve some of the pain. 

 Cranberry juice is another common at-home treatment for UTIs because it contains tannin that might prevent E. coli from sticking to the walls of the bladder. However, care should be taken to properly treat your UTI with the help of a medical professional so the condition doesn’t develop into a more serious infection. 

 Contact your doctor immediately if you start experiencing fever, chills, and back pain in the course of your UTI. If you are ever uncertain about your condition or would like to know more about urinary tract infections, it’s always best to call your doctor. UAB Medical West is here to answer your questions about UTIs and provide you with proper care. 


UAB Medical West is Here for All Your Medical Needs


UTIs can range from annoying to medically dangerous. So it is essential to get proper treatment if you start noticing yourself having pain or burning with urination. If you suspect you might have a UTI,  Schedule an appointment with us today - in Hueytown, Hoover, Bessemer, McCalla, and Vance.