What is a urinary tract infection?
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection of the urethra, bladder, ureters, or kidneys. The bladder and urethra are the most common sites of UTI. This type of infection is quite common, especially in women.
Urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria present in your large intestine. If bacteria such as E. coli are able to reach your urethra, they can begin to multiply rapidly, creating a painful infection.
The reason women suffer more frequently than men comes down to simple anatomy. A woman’s urethra is located closer to her anus, so bacteria have less distance to cover.
Bacteria can reach your urethra in a number of ways. When using the bathroom, women should always clean themselves by wiping from front to back to reduce the risk of UTI. Sexual activity can also spread bacteria, which is why women and men are advised to try to urinate shortly after sex.
How do I know I have a UTI?
Unlike some infections, a urinary tract infection will announce its presence with clear symptoms. Some of those symptoms include:
- Burning sensations while urinating
- Cloudy, bloody, dark, or foul-smelling urine
- Frequent urge to urinate with little urine produced
- Feeling shaky or unusually tired
- Sensations of pain or pressure in your lower abdomen or back
- Fever or chills (signs the infection may have spread to the kidneys)
If you notice these symptoms, seek treatment right away to stop symptoms from progressing.
What can be done to treat a urinary tract infection?
At Chicago Immediate Care, you will receive a thorough diagnostic workup to determine if a urinary tract infection is present. The most common course of treatment is antibiotics.
If you receive a prescription for antibiotics, it is important to follow the dosing instructions. Even if you begin to feel better, you must complete the full course of antibiotics to prevent reinfection.
Your practitioner can also advise you on ways to prevent future infections. Changing some basic hygiene habits can go a long way toward reducing the risk of another infection. In some cases, however, women have a predisposition to recurring UTIs.
In those cases, your doctor will discuss your treatment options in detail, ensuring you have everything you need to make an informed decision about your care.
There is no need to book an appointment for UTI treatment. Simply come into the Chicago Immediate Care location most convenient for you to see a physician right away.