Published March 31, 2005
General information about the infection and its treatment:
— A urinary tract infection (search) (UTI) is any infection in your urinary system.
— That includes: kidneys, ureters, bladder or urethra. (See below)
— About 8 to 10 million people in the U.S. get one each year.
— Women are more than twice as likely to get them.
— But in men, urinary infections are more serious and harder to treat.
— They are especially dangerous for older people or pregnant women.
WHAT CAUSES ONE?
— Bacteria getting in the urinary tract.
— E. coli (search) is the most common.
— Usually it enters through the urethra and travels to the kidneys and bladder.
— Urinary catheterization may cause a UTI.
— Other risk factors are: kidney stones and a suppressed immune system.
— Fever or chill.
— Blood or unusual smell in the urine.
— Pain in the back or lower abdomen.
— Frequent urge to urinate.
— Burning feeling during urination.
— Antibiotics are the common treatment.
— The kill the bacteria causing the infection.
— A simple infection gets three days of antibiotics.
— More serious infections require a week or more.
— Kidneys: collect waste and extra water from the blood to make urine.
— Ureters: carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder.
— Bladder: stores the urine and squeezes it out when full.
— Urethra: carries urine out of the body.
— Prostate: adds fluid to semen.