Studies have shown that women have more than a 50% chance of getting a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). There are so many causes a.nd this has nothing to do with cleanliness or hygiene.
Anything that reduces your bladder emptying or irritates the urinary tract can lead to UTIs. There are also many factors that can put you at an increased risk of getting a UTI. These factors include:
- weakened immune system
- age — older adults are more likely to get UTIs
- reduced mobility after surgery or prolonged bed rest
- kidney stones
- a previous UTI
- urinary tract obstructions or blockages, such as an enlarged prostate, kidney stones, and certain forms of cancer
- diabetes, especially if poorly controlled, which may make it more likely for you to get a UTI
- abnormally developed urinary structures from birth
Here are 7 easily recognizable symptoms of UTIs.
1. Pain, burning or stinging when you pee
Pain or burning when you pee is often the first sign of a UTI or bacteria in the urethra or bladder. However, it doesn’t mean you have a full-blown UTI unless it continues. If you get only pain or burning once and not again for the rest of the day and you don’t show any other signs or symptoms, your body has already flushed out the bacteria, and you likely don’t have to worry.
2. Frequent urination
If all you can think about is how badly you have to pee, especially if you just went, you probably have a UTI. The bacteria irritate the urethra and the lining of the bladder and make you feel like you desperately need to pee constantly.
3. Cloudy, bloody, or discoloured urine
The colour of your urine can also tell you a lot of things, including whether you have an infection. Anything off the yellow or clear spectrum is cause to worry. Cloudy, red, or brown urine are all signs of infection.
4. Smelly Urine
A strong, pungent smell is a common UTI symptom. If this persists you should go see a doctor.
5. Extreme tiredness
A UTI is an infection of the bladder. And as with any type of infection, once the body detects that something is wrong, it goes into a state of inflammation. Along with other protective measures, this triggers the release of interleukins, white blood cells that that can cause feelings of fatigue
6. Pain around your bladder/pelvis
Older women, in particular, may have cramping, pressure, or abdominal pain when they have a UTI. In some women, pain, cramping, and muscle aches may be the most pronounced symptoms.
Paired with other UTI symptoms, a fever is often a sign that the infection has become more serious and spread to the kidneys. If you have a fever over or are experiencing chills or night sweats seek medical help immediately.
The good news is that UTIs can be cured. Treatment depends on the cause of the infection. Your doctor will be able to determine which organism is causing the infection from the test results used to confirm the diagnosis.
In most cases, the cause is bacteria. UTIs caused by bacteria are treated with antibiotics.
If you suspect that you have a UTI based on your symptoms, contact your doctor. Your doctor will review your symptoms and perform a physical examination. To confirm a diagnosis of a UTI, your doctor will need to test your urine for microbes.