You may have a urinary tract infection if you have the following symptoms:
- Bladder infection
- Pain or a burning sensation on urination
- Urinary urgency
- Urinary frequency
- Blood in the urine
- Lower abdominal discomfort
- Kidney infection
See a doctor right away if you have symptoms of a kidney infection because delaying treatment can lead to serious complications.
What Causes a Urinary Tract Infection?
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by bacteria getting into the urethra and traveling up into the urinary tract.
Risk factors for developing urinary tract infections include:
- Frequent sexual intercourse
- Bladder or kidney infection that occurred in the past 12 months
- Use of spermicides for birth control
- A genetic predisposition to UTIs
- Conditions such as kidney stones or ureteral reflux that block or change the flow of urine in the kidneys
- For men, not being circumcised or having insertive anal sex
How Is a Urinary Tract Infection Diagnosed?
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are usually diagnosed with a urine test.
- The presence of white blood cells in the urine may be a sign of infection
- Urine culture
For recurrent bladder infections, additional testing may be needed to check for abnormalities in the kidneys, ureter, bladder, or urethra, or for kidney stones.
What Is the Treatment for a Urinary Tract Infection?
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are usually treated with antibiotics, such as:
Medications to treat kidney infections include:
- Antibiotics: the choice depends on the bacteria causing the infection and the severity of the infection
- Medications for fever and pain
- For severe cases in patients who have high fever, severe pain, or cannot keep down food or fluids, intravenous (IV) antibiotics and fluids may be given in a hospital
There are no good studies on the effectiveness of cranberry juice for treating UTIs.