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Key Information About Urinary Tract Infection

Updated on December 17, 2019
srirad0675 profile image

Srikanth is passionate about helping people improve their quality of life.

Urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that can occur in any area of the urinary tract, including the ureters, bladder, kidneys, or urethra.

An estimated 50 percent of women report having had a UTI at some point in their lives, and nearly 30-40 per cent of these infections relapse within six months.

Virtually every person with a vagina will experience a urinary tract infection at least once in their lives, in part because of biological reasons.


Acute pyelonephritis
Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons | Source


Urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria enters into urinary system and multiply.

Cystitis (bladder infection) is usually caused by E. coli and other bacteria. E. coli also causes acute pyelonephritis (kidney infection). Urethritis (urethra infection) can be caused by herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia and mycoplasma.

Urinary tract infections are more common in girls and women than in boys and men.

E. coli

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons | Source


Chills, fever, back pain, groin pain, nausea, flank pain, vomiting, cloudy, dark, bloody, or foul-smelling urine and frequent, painful urination are some symptoms of acute pyelonephritis.

Symptoms of cystitis include traces of blood in the urine, dark, cloudy, or strong-smelling urine, pain just above the pubic bone, in the lower back, or in the abdomen, burning sensation when urinating, and urinating frequently or feeling the need to urinate frequently.

The main symptom of urethritis is pain while urinating. Other symptoms include feeling the frequent or urgent need to urinate and difficulty starting urination.


Ciprofloxacin, fluoroquinolone, amoxicillin-clavulanate potassium, cephalosporin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole are used to treat acute pyelonephritis.

Antibiotics are the first line of treatment for cystitis caused by bacteria. Which drugs are used and for how long depend on the patient's overall health and the bacteria found in the urine.

Some common treatments for urethritis include azithromycin, doxycycline, erythromycin, ofloxacin and levofloxacin.

In November 2019, FDA approved cefiderocol an antibiotic, for patients with severe UTI.

Cases of urinary tract infection which do not get cured with the usual antibiotics are becoming more common.

"You can treat and cure a UTI at home, if you catch it early. Drink lots of water and avoid coffee, caffeine, alcohol, and soda.

Load up on Vitamin C to combat the UTI. The acid in the vitamin helps flush out the bacteria. Eat lots of yogurt, which has probiotics. Probiotics are good bacteria. Half a teaspoon of baking soda also helps with the burning," says Dr. Manny Alvarez.

Cause of Concern

In the last few years it has become clear that the likelihood antibiotics like ciprofloxacin will kill most UTIs is dropping rapidly.

You may have read the New York Times article reporting one in three uncomplicated UTIs in young healthy women are Bactrim-resistant and one in five are resistant to five other common antibiotics.


There is no vaccine for acute pyelonephritis. Increase fluid intake to at least eight glasses per day to maintain bladder hygiene.

Always respond to initial urge to void. Void after intercourse to rid urethra of bacteria acquired during sex, and if there is a history of atypical anatomy or recurrent urinary tract infections.

To prevent cystitis do not use perfumed bubble bath, soap, or talcum powder around your genitals.

Have a shower, rather than a bath, to avoid exposing your genitals to the chemicals in your cleaning products for too long.

Empty your bladder fully when you go to the toilet. Do not wait to go if you need to urinate.

Sexual abstinence is the best way to prevent urethritis. Have sex with only one uninfected partner.

Practice good hygiene prior to sexual activity. Use mild, unscented soap. Showers are less likely to promote urethritis than baths.

Drink water prior to sexual intercourse and urinate within 15 minutes afterward. If necessary, use a water-soluble lubricant to decrease the risk of injury during intercourse.



Urinary tract infection can affect ureters, bladder, kidneys, or urethra.

Herpes can cause urethritis.

Flank pain is a symptom of acute pyelonephritis.

Antibiotics are used to treat cystitis.

There are no vaccines for acute pyelonephritis.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2019 Srikanth R


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    • srirad0675 profile imageAUTHOR

      Srikanth R 

      18 months ago

      Thank you for the valuable input.

    • Rotsucht profile image


      18 months ago from Everywhere

      Good article. Gives a nice overview on urinary tract infections. I just have a small comment. Uncomplicated first time cystitis in adults with a healthy functioning immune system does not require treatment with antibiotics. Symptomatic treatment (hot water bottle and/or pain medication), rest and drinking a lot of fluids to flush the bacteria out should be enough in most cases. Antibiotics have side effects and bacteria are becoming more and more resistant because of overprescription.

    • srirad0675 profile imageAUTHOR

      Srikanth R 

      18 months ago

      Thank you.

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      18 months ago

      Good article and your tips are extremely useful.

    • srirad0675 profile imageAUTHOR

      Srikanth R 

      18 months ago


    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      18 months ago from India

      helpful information. thanks for sharing!


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