UTIs are more common in women than in men. Children can also get UTIs, although this is less common.
If you develop a UTI, you're likely to feel:
· Pain or a burning sensation when urinating (doctors refer to this as dysuria)
· Need to urinate often
· Pain in the lower abdomen (tummy)
You may find that your UTI symptoms are mild and pass within a few days. However, if you are finding your symptoms very uncomfortable or if they last for more than five days, go to see your doctor.
· Urinary tract infections usually get better on their own within four or five days.
· Antibiotics can help speed up recovery time and are usually recommended for women who keep getting UTIs. In some cases, long-term use of antibiotics help to prevent the infection returning.
· Complications of a UTI aren't common but can be serious and lead to kidney failure or blood poisoning
· These complications usually only affect people with pre-existing health issues such as Diabetes or a weakened immune system (the body’s natural defence against infection).
What is Urinary Tract?
The urinary tract is where our bodies make, and get rid of, urine. It's made up of:
· The kidneys: these are two bean-shaped organs that make urine out of waste materials from the blood
· The ureters: tubes that run from the kidney to the bladder
· The bladder: where urine is stored until we go to the toilet
· The urethra: the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the hole where it leaves the body
What causes a UTI?
A UTI develops when part of the urinary tract becomes infected, usually by bacteria. Bacteria can enter the urinary tract through the urethra or, more rarely, through the bloodstream. There is usually no obvious reason why the urinary tract gets infected, although some women find that they develop a UTI after having sex. UTIs are not sexually transmitted infections (STIs) but irritation from having sex can sometimes trigger a UTI.
UTIs in men are far less common than in women, and need investigating to find an underlying cause. These causes may include narrowing of the urethra (a stricture), a previous STI, a bladder stone or a problem with the prostate gland.
Emptying your bladder after sex, wiping from front to back after going to the toilet, avoiding constipation and drinking cranberry juice are all thought to reduce your risk of developing a urinary tract infection.
You can get an infection in the lower (bladder and urethra) or upper (kidney and ureters) part of the urinary tract and doctors often describe them as lower or upper UTIs.
Upper UTIs are potentially more serious than lower UTIs because there is a risk of kidney damage.