Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are caused when bacteria enter and infect any part of the urinary tract. The urinary tract includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. The most common type of UTI is a bladder infection. UTIs often require antibiotic treatment.

People of all ages and genders can get UTIs, although women are at a higher risk. Children can get UTIs, particularly those born with urinary tract abnormalities.

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Causes of UTIs can include:

  • Sexual activity
  • Certain types of birth control, including diaphragms and spermicides
  • Menopause
  • Blockages of urinary tract
  • Weakened immune system
  • Catheter use

What are UTI symptoms?

Each type of UTI has specific signs and symptoms. Common UTI symptoms and bladder infection symptoms are:

  • A strong urge to urinate that won’t go away even with an empty bladder
  • Frequent urination
  • Urine that appears cloudy or red-colored
  • Urine with a strong smell
  • A burning sensation
  • Pressure or cramping in the groin or lower abdomen
  • Low fever (less than 101 degrees Fahrenheit)

If a UTI causes a kidney infection, it becomes a more serious issue. Kidney infection symptoms include a high fever (above 101 degrees Fahrenheit), nausea, chills, or side and lower back pain.

How are UTIs treated?

UTIs are bacterial infections. As a result, they often need antibiotics to lessen symptoms and prevent the infection from spreading to the kidneys. If you recognize symptoms of a UTI, see a healthcare provider. If you have symptoms of a kidney infection, contact a healthcare provider immediately.

UTIs can be recurring. Take these steps to avoid UTIs and ease symptoms:

  • Drink plenty of water, which helps flush bacteria from the urinary tract
  • Empty bladder soon after intercourse
  • Avoid irritating feminine products like powders and sprays
  • Take showers instead of baths
  • Teach children to wipe front to back

If you are experiencing UTI symptoms contact the nearest CareNow® urgent care clinic to set up a visit and get the appropriate antibiotics. You can minimize your wait time with our Web Check-in®.