A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of the urinary tract, which includes the kidneys, bladder, and the ureters. It is often bacteria-based and is more frequent in women. A UTI can be a bladder or kidney infection. Kidney infections usually take longer to resolve and may even require hospitalization.
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection may include:
- Back pain, pelvic pain
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Painful urination
- Cloudy urine
- Blood in the urine
- General ill feeling; malaise
Self-help measures: Over the counter pain relievers, use of a heating pad and drinking plenty of fluids, including cranberry juice.
Medication. Often anti-bacterial drugs. Duration of use depends upon the type of bacteria. May also include self-directed antibiotic treatment and vaginal estrogen if the woman is susceptible to recurrent UTIs.
Additional tests may be necessary if infections are recurrent.