Are Urinary Tract Infections dangerous?
Ordinarily bacteria that enter the urinary tract are quickly removed by the body however sometimes bacteria overcome the body’s natural defenses and cause UTI infection. Whilst most UTIs are not dangerous, some infections can lead to serious problems such as kidney infection.23
What is a bladder infection?
A bladder infection, or cystitis, is an infection of the urinary tract that affects the bladder. It occurs when bacteria from the bowel or vagina travel to the bladder to cause an infection.25 You may experience any or all of the following symptoms: pain or stinging when passing urine; an urge to pass urine a lot, but not much comes out when you go; pressure in your lower belly; urine that smells bad or looks milky, cloudy, or reddish in colour; feeling tired or shaky or having a fever; blood in the urine and a burning sensation when urinating.23,24.
How are Urinary Tract Infections diagnosed?
Your healthcare provider may do a simple test called a urinalysis to find out whether you have a UTI. For this test you will asked to supply a urine sample. This sample will be studied in the lab for the presence of red and white blood cells and bacteria. Normal urine should not have bacteria or blood cells. If either of these shows up in the urine, you may have a UTI.26
Why are Urinary Tract Infections more common in women than men?
People of any age or sex can get UTIs. But about four times as many women get UTIs as men. Women have a shorter urethra, which makes it easier for bacteria to reach the bladder.23 Also, the opening of a woman’s urethra is near the vagina and anus, where bacteria live. Women who use a diaphragm are also more likely to get UTIs than women who use other forms of birth control.23
What is a recurrent Urinary Tract Infection?
About one in five women who get UTIs will get another one. Some women get three or more UTIs a year.24 If you are prone to UTIs, ask your healthcare provider about your treatment options.
When should I consult with a doctor for a Urinary Tract Infection?
You should see your healthcare provider if you have any of these signs or symptoms: a burning feeling when urinating; frequent or intense urges to urinate, even when you have little urine to pass; pain in your back or side below the ribs ; cloudy, dark, bloody, or foul-smelling urine; fever or chills.23