Urinary tract infection

Overview of urinary tract infection

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common type of infection. Although they can cause pain, most respond quickly to appropriate treatment. A UTI happens when bacteria enter your urinary tract and can irritate your kidneys, bladder, ureters (the tubes that drain urine from your kidneys to your bladder), or urethra.

If you are dealing with the uncomfortable symptoms of a UTI in AZ, NV, or CA, find a gynecologist at Dignity Health for a diagnosis and treatment options. Schedule an appointment and start experiencing relief today.

Symptoms of urinary tract infection

UTI symptoms are often the same for many women and include:

  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Urine that is cloudy, smells bad, or is reddish in color
  • Feeling of pressure in the lower abdomen
  • Fever
  • Feeling tired or sick

Causes of urinary tract infection

UTIs happen when bacteria enter your urethra and urinary tract and travel to your bladder, where they start to multiply. Common causes of UTIs include:

  • Wiping from back to front: Bacteria from bowel movements can enter the urethra and cause infection.
  • Having sex: Sexual intercourse can push germs into your urinary tract.
  • Incomplete emptying of the bladder: Germs thrive in dark, moist places. Bacteria can grow if you do not completely empty your bladder.
  • Using a diaphragm for contraception: Diaphragms push against your urethra and may cause urine to linger in your bladder.
  • Having a catheter to drain urine: When people are unable to urinate — after surgery, for example — doctors may insert a thin tube into the bladder to drain urine. This can create an environment where germs thrive.
  • Changes in the vaginal environment: UTIs are common during menopause because hormonal changes make you more likely to get certain infections.

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