Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) - Diagnosis, Treatment, Risk factor

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) - Causes, Symptoms, Types, Diagnosis, Treatment, Risk Factors, and Prevention

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that develops in any part of the urinary system (urinary tract) such as the kidneys, bladder, urethra, and ureters. UTI is more commonly found in women. When UTI affects the lower urinary tract then it is known as Cystitis (Infection of the bladder) and when it affects the upper urinary tract then it is known as Pyelonephritis (Infection of the kidney).

Urinary Tract Infection Causes

Urinary Tract Infection occurs when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra. UTI occurs when bacteria that live in the vaginal, genital, or anal areas enter the urethra and travel to the bladder, and cause infections. 

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) - Diagnosis, Treatment, Risk factor

Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms

However, UTIs don't always show signs and symptoms but when it shows then they may include the following symptoms :

  • A burning feeling or sensation with urination discharge.
  • Passing frequent but small amounts of urine.
  • A strong, frequent, and persistent urge to urinate even though a small amount of urine comes out when you urinate.
  • Frequent and painful urination.
  • Blood in the urine.
  • Strong foul-smelling urine
  • Urine that appears cloudy, dark, or bloody.
  • Pelvic pain or lower abdomen discomfort.
  • Pain or pressure in the lower abdomen and pelvis
  • Pain in the upper back, side (flank), or groin.

If UTI goes to your kidneys (Pyelonephritis) then its symptoms may include :

  • High fever
  • Shaking or chills
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness
  • Vomiting

Urinary Tract Infection types

The types of Urinary Tract Infections are described below :


Cystitis is a bacterial infection of the bladder which causes a bacteria called E.coli (Escherichia Coli) which is found in the Gastrointestinal tract (GI tract). Sexual intercourse can also lead to cystitis. 


Urethritis is a bacterial infection of the urethra which occurs when gastrointestinal bacteria (GI bacteria) spread from the anus to the urethra. As the female urethra is close to the vagina sexually transmitted diseases such as Chlamydia, Herpes, Mycoplasma, and Gonorrhea may also lead to Urethritis.


Pyelonephritis is a bacterial infection of the kidneys and renal pelvis that causes inflammation of the kidneys. It occurs when a urinary tract infection spreads from the bladder to the kidneys. E.coli bacteria cause kidney infection and any serious infection in the bloodstream when spreads in the kidneys can also cause Pyelonephritis.

Urinary Tract Infection during pregnancy

Urinary Tract Infection Diagnosis

A urine test can easily diagnose urinary tract infections. If you have a UTI then your doctor will do a test called Urinalysis. You've to pee in a cup and then your urine sample will be tested for the presence of certain bacteria causing UTI or other signs of infection.

Urinary Tract Infection treatment

UTI is treated with antibiotics. It can be cured within 2 to 3 days of treatment.

Risk factors for Urinary Tract Infection 

Risk factors of Urinary Tract Infection may include the following :
  • Female Anatomy
  • Obesity
  • Sexual Intercourse especially if done with multiple partners
  • Kidney Stone
  • Menopause
  • Suppressed Immune System
  • Poor Personal Hygiene
  • Diabetes
  • Having a urinary catheter

Urinary Tract Infection Prevention

  • Drink plenty of water and keep yourself hydrated. Drinking water helps in diluting urine and in passing frequent urine which flushed bacteria from the urinary tract before the infection begins and prevents UTI. Drinking other liquids, especially cranberry juice is also beneficial to avoid Urinary Tract Infections. 

  • Avoid using deodorant sprays, scented douches, or powders in the genital area as they can irritate the urethra which can also cause Urinary Tract Infections.

  • Always empty your bladder soon after intercourse. Urinating just after intercourse will help in flushing away any bacteria that may have entered in urethra during sex. 

  • Consider switching to another method if you're using Diaphragms, Un-lubricated condoms, or spermicidal jelly for birth control as Diaphragms contribute to increased bacterial growth while Unlubricated condoms or spermicidal jelly causes irritation. 

  • Wipe from front to back after urination and bowel movement because the urethra (a tube that transports urine from the bladder to the outside of the body) is close to the anus. Doing this will prevent bacteria in the anal region from spreading to the urethra and vagina.

  • Always keep your genital area clean and dry. 

Urinary Tract Infection during pregnancy

Urinary Tract Infection during pregnancy is dangerous both for the health of the mother and the baby. Pregnant women are tested for the presence of bacteria in their urine even if there are no signs and symptoms of UTI. And treated with antibiotics to prevent it from spreading. 

Urinary Tract Infection home remedies

  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
  • Urinating frequently helps in flushing bacteria outside form the body.
  • Use a heating pad to relieve pain or discomfort in the pubic area or bladder. 
  • Include foods that contain probiotics such as yogurt in your diet.
  • Keep your pubic area clean and dry as it will prevent bacteria growth.
  • Include high-fiber foods in your diet.
  • Drink cranberry juice to prevent bacteria growth. 

When a urinary tract infection does occur it is essential to seek medical care. Talk to your doctor before using any remedy for the treatment of UTI. 

Also, read other health-related articles :

Disclaimer: This content is intended for general information only and it should not be used as the basis of patient treatment. The given content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, treatment, or any diagnosis. Always consult a doctor for more information. Our website doesn't claim responsibility for this information.

No comments