Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is caused when bacteria enter your urine and travel up into any part of the urinary system. Infections are typically found in the bladder and urethra. UTIs mainly occur in women, but men can also develop UTIs.

Children can also develop infections in the urinary tract. Eight percent of girls and two percent of boys will develop UTIs during their childhood. Their symptoms may be harder to detect — high fever, not eating, loose stool, strong-smelling urine

Types of Infections

  • Kidneys — acute pyelonephritis
  • Bladder — cystitis
  • Urethra — urethritis


  • Strong, persistent urge to urinate
  • Burning sensation when urinating
  • Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
  • Cloudy urine
  • Blood in the urine — red, bright pink, or cola-colored urine
  • Strong-smelling urine
  • Pelvic and back pain
  • Shaking and chills
  • High fever
  • Discharge

These symptoms can be painful and annoying and should not be ignored. If the infection begins to spread to other parts of the urinary tract, it can become more serious.

Risk Factors

  • Female anatomy — woman have shorter urethras than men which shortens the distance the bacteria has to travel
  • Sexual activity
  • Certain types of birth controls
  • Menopause
  • Urinary tract abnormalities — abnormalities that don’t allow urine to leave the body normally and can cause the urine to back up in the urethra
  • Blockage of the urinary tract
  • Suppressed immune system
  • Catheter use
  • Recent urinary procedure


  • Drink plenty of liquids, especially water
  • Drink cranberry juice — the less sugar, the better
  • Wipe from front to back
  • Empty your bladder immediately after sex
  • Avoid potentially irritating feminine products
  • Change birth control methods

UTIs are treated using antibiotics. However, a urologist should be consulted if UTIs become chronic. More unique antibiotic treatments may need to be used in some circumstances.

Contact your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms or have concerns other about urinary tract infections.