A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection that affects the urinary system, which includes the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra.
UTIs are more common in women than men, and symptoms may include:
- a frequent urge to urinate,
- a burning sensation during urination,
- cloudy, dark, or strong-smelling urine,
- pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen or back,
- fever or chills (if the infection has spread to the kidneys).
UTIs are usually caused by bacteria that enter the urinary tract through the urethra and multiply in the bladder. Risk factors for UTIs include being female, having diabetes or a weakened immune system, and using certain types of birth control.
Treatment for UTIs typically involves a course of antibiotics to kill the bacteria causing the infection. Drinking plenty of water and urinating frequently can also help flush out bacteria from the urinary tract. It’s important to seek treatment promptly if you suspect you have a UTI, as untreated infections can lead to more serious complications.