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Urinary Tract Infections
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Urinary tract infection (UTI) is not an infection of the vagina or reproductive system. As its name suggests, UTI is a commonly experienced bacterial infection of the urinary tract—the bladder, kidneys, ureters or urethra. Most UTIs either affect the bladder or the kidneys. UTIs are most prevalent in young and middle-aged women, and are rarely serious. With proper treatment, a UTI can be cured without further complication. However, if you ignore your symptoms and don’t seek treatment, a UTI can lead to permanent damage of the kidneys.

UTI is caused by bacteria that enters the urethra and then enters the urinary tract. This bacteria can come from any number of places, but generally comes from the large intestines via feces, or from the blood or lymph system. The common symptoms of UTI follow:

  • The constant urge to urinate, but only passing small amount of urine at a time
  • Cloudy urine with an unpleasant odor
  • Pain or burning upon urination
  • Tenderness and heaviness in the lower abdomen
  • Pain in the lower back, under the rib cage
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Chills

If you have these symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor for proper diagnosis. Your doctor can determine if you have a UTI through a standard urinalysis. Your doctor will prescribe a strong oral antibiotic that can cure your UTI. You can help to prevent UTIs by drinking lots of water and liquids throughout the day and by drinking cranberry or blueberry juice. Also, if you urinate frequently and don’t hold it in, you’ll help prevent UTIs. Urinating and bathing after sex is a good way to prevent bacteria from entering your urinary tract.

Click below to read about related topics.

Bacterial Vaginosis
Yeast Infection
Noninfectious Vaginitis
Urinary Tract Infections