What is a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
A urinary tract infection (UTI) happens when bacteria from the skin or the rectum enters and infect the bladder. Sometimes, the body can fight the bacteria and resolves the infection on its own. However, if the infection does not resolve and is left untreated, the infection may spread to the kidneys, which is more serious.
What are the common symptoms of a UTI?
- pain or burning during urination
- frequent urination
- having the urge to urinate even with an empty bladder – bloody or cloudy urine
- bloody or cloudy urine with a foul odor
- lower abdominal/groin pressure or cramps
- low fever (less than 101°F)
If you have any of the following symptoms of a kidney infection, please contact your healthcare provider right away:
- lower back pain
- high fever (101°F or above)
- changes in mental status (confused or disoriented; not making sense)
- nausea or vomiting
- night sweats or chills
How can I prevent a UTI?
- Stay hydrated by drinking water
- Urinate regularly
- Avoid taking bubble baths; take showers instead
- Urinate before and after sexual activity
- Avoid douching and using powder in the genitals
- Always wipe from front to back when using the toilet
For more information, visit the CDC at www.cdc.gov/getsmart/community/for-patients/common-illnesses/uti.html