Urinary tract infections are a common cause of healthcare visits in the US today. Roughly seven million clinic visits per year are for UTIs in the US alone.
Despite that, many still have trouble understanding their symptoms. In this article, we will discuss common causes, symptoms, and treatments for urinary tract infections.
What Is A UTI?
A urinary tract infection occurs when part of the urinary system (the urethra, bladder, ureter, or kidneys) develops a bacterial infection. There are three main types of urinary tract infections.
- Urethritis: An infection of the urethra. This is caused by bacteria remaining near the end of the urethra.
- Cystitis: A bacterial infection in the bladder. This occurs when bacteria moves up from the urethra.
- Pyelonephritis: An infection of the kidneys. These are caused by infections that spread up to the kidneys or from partial blockages in the urinary tract.
What Causes a Urinary Tract Infection?
There are a few common risk factors that elevate your chances of developing a UTI.
Female Anatomy: women have shorter urethras than men do. This means bacteria has less distance to travel to cause a UTI. One in five women will get a urinary tract infection at some point.
Sexual Activity: having sex introduces new bacteria to the urinary tract. Sexual activity, particularly with a new partner, is a leading cause of urinary tract infections.
Improper Hygiene: bacteria likes to grow in warm, wet environments. When you wear tight, damp clothes for a sustained period, this increases the chance of developing a UTI. To help prevent this, change out of workout clothing and bathing suits quickly when finished with activity.
Various symptoms come with UTIs. Some of the most common ones are pain during urination or a burning feeling in the urethra. The full range of symptoms is quite varied.
- Painful urination
- Cloudy or bloody urine
- Pelvic pain
- Fever or chills
How To Diagnose a UTI
If you experience the symptoms listed above, you likely have a UTI. The most accurate way to diagnose a UTI, however, is through a urinalysis test. Most urgent care clinics perform urinalysis tests to quickly diagnose a UTI, including our Live Urgent Care clinics.
Can Men Get UTIs?
While women are more likely to develop a urinary tract infection, men can and do get UTIs as well. The most common male UTI symptoms are fevers, chills, nausea, and vomiting. The same test can diagnose UTIs in men as well as women.
Fortunately, treating a UTI is very simple. Healthcare professionals can prescribe an antibiotic treatment that eliminates the harmful bacteria. This clears the infection quickly to relieve the painful symptoms of a UTI.
At Live Urgent Care, we can help provide quick UTI relief. Our urgent care centers can diagnose and prescribe treatment for your infection. We also provide telehealth appointments that allow you to get the prescription you need without an in-person visit. You can walk in or book your appointment online to beat your UTI quickly and easily.