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  • A urinary tract infection, or UTI, is an infection in any part of the urinary systemthe

  • kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra.

  • An infection of the urethra, or urethritis, may cause burning sensation when urinating

  • and cloudy discharge.

  • A bladder infection, or cystitis, may result in pelvic pain, frequent, painful urination,

  • and blood in urine.

  • A kidney infection, or acute pyelonephritis, may cause back pain (possibly only on one

  • side), high fever, chills and nausea.

  • UTIs typically occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and multiply

  • in the bladder.

  • Most commonly, these bacteria come from the digestive tract through fecal matter.

  • UTIs are more common in women because of their anatomy.

  • Specifically, the short distance from the A to the opening of the urethra and bladder

  • makes it easier for the bacteria from the digestive tract to reach the urinary system.

  • This is why the most common UTIs occur mainly in women and affect the bladder and urethra.

  • Other bacteria may be brought over with S contact.

  • Women who use certain types of birth control such as diaphragms or spermicidal agents are

  • more at risk.

  • Hormonal deficiency during menopause also makes women more vulnerable to infection.

  • Infection limited to the bladder can be easily treated with antibiotics.

  • However, if left untreated, a lower urinary tract infection may spread up to the kidneys

  • where it becomes more dangerous.

  • A kidney infection may result in permanent kidney damage.

  • In rare cases, an infection may also spread to the bloodstream and can be life threatening.

  • Urinary tract infections can be prevented following these steps:

  • - Drink plenty of fluidsto flush out bacteria more frequently.

  • - Wipe from front to back after a bowel movement - this helps prevent bacteria in stools from

  • spreading to the urethra.

  • - Empty the bladder soon after I to flush bacteria.

  • - Avoid feminine products such as douches and powders, which could irritate the urethra.

  • - Avoid diaphragms and spermicides as birth control methods

A urinary tract infection, or UTI, is an infection in any part of the urinary systemthe

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