A urinary tract infection (UTI) can occur anywhere in the urinary tract, which includes your kidneys, but it often occurs in the bladder and urethra. UTIs develop when bacteria from outside your body get into the urinary tract, travel up the urethra, and into the bladder.
UTIs are named according to their locations:
- Cystitis: bladder infection
- Urethritis: urethral infection
- Pyelonephritis: kidney infection
UTIs are one of the most common pediatric infections during the first year of life; then the overall prevalence drops to 1-2% in children. Men rarely develop UTIs before the age of 50; then their incidence begins to increase due to health issues like prostatitis.
Women have the highest risk of developing a UTI, especially cystitis, which is the most common type. UTIs occur in 25-40% of women between the ages of 20-40. They’re susceptible because of their anatomy. It’s easy for bacteria to reach the bladder because it’s not far from the urethral opening.
You may not have any symptoms, but if you do, you experience one or more of the following:
- Strong and persistent need to urinate
- Small amount released during urination
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Cloudy urine
- Red, pink, or cola-colored urine
- Strong-smelling urine
Children who are younger than two years old may have a fever, be irritable or fussy, or not want to eat. If the infection spreads to your kidneys, you may also develop symptoms such as:
- Upper back and side pain
- High fever
- Nausea and vomiting
- Shaking and chills
After running a urinalysis and possibly a urine culture to verify a UTI, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to eliminate the bacteria. If you’re one of the 25% of women with recurrent cystitis, your doctor may recommend changes like drinking more water, which helps flush bacteria out of your bladder.
If you experience symptoms of a UTI, call Boerne Family Medicine or book an appointment online. An accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment are important in preventing the infection from spreading to your kidneys.