Urinary Tract Infections

A urinary tract infection, or UTI, is an infection in any part of your urinary tract system. This could be in your kidneys, bladder or urethra. 

UTIs occur mostly in women. 


50 percent of all females 

get a UTI during their lifetime and

about 1 in 5 young women

who get a UTI will have another UTI at some point. Men are generally less likely to get a UTI compared to women. But if a man gets a UTI, he’s also more likely to get another one because bacteria can hide inside a man’s prostate.

UTIs cause more than

8 million visits

to healthcare providers each year 

Women who’ve gone through menopause are at a higher risk of developing UTIs. This is because they have less estrogen and estrogen helps to provide some level of protection against UTIs by keeping the lining of the bladder and urethra healthy. 


Some individuals may have few or no symptoms; however, the usual symptoms of a lower tract UTI (bladder infection) include:

  • pain or burning during urination
  • urine that looks cloudy or smells bad
  • pressure in your lower abdomen
  • urge to urinate often
  • need to urinate, but not being able to pass much urine

Upper tract UTIs affect the kidneys. This is a more serious UTI and should be treated right away. Symptoms of an upper tract UTI (kidney infection) include the same as lower tract UTI, but with:

  • pain in the upper back and sides
  • chills
  • fever (>101.5°F)
  • nausea
  • vomiting

The most common treatment for bacterial UTIs is antibiotics. 

A urine test and/or urine culture at the doctor’s office can confirm if you have a UTI and can help your doctor pick the best antibiotic for you.

If you have 3 or more UTIs per year, your health care provider may suggest additional tests or recommend you take a longer course of low-dose antibiotics. In some cases, your provider may recommend you take an antibiotic after sex to reduce your risk of UTIs. 

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UrologyHealth.org  |  SUMMER 2018  |  UROLOGYHEALTH extra