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Alphabetical Disease Lookup



Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)


A urinary tract infection is a common infection that is caused by bacteria in parts of the urinary tract, such as the kidneys, bladder, or urethra. Women are more likely to get urinary tract infections than men are.


Not everyone with a urinary tract infection has symptoms, but most people have at least some symptoms. Signs of a urinary tract infection include:
  • Pain or stinging when urinating
  • Needing to urinate often or really badly
  • Urine that smells bad or looks milky, cloudy, or reddish in color
  • Pain in the lower belly (abdomen)
  • Feeling tired, shaky or having a fever
Symptoms with children

Symptoms of a urinary tract infection are often harder to recognize in children.
If a child is irritable, is not eating normally, has an unexplained fever that doesnít go away, has incontinence or loose bowels, or is not thriving, then he or she may have a urinary tract infection. The child should see a health care provider immediately.


Urinary tract infections are treated with antibiotics to get rid of the infection. Pregnant women with urinary tract infections are more likely to get kidney infections and so quick treatment is especially important for these women. If you are pregnant and think you have a urinary tract infection, see your health care provider as soon as possible.


There are some things women can do to make it less likely they will get urinary tract infections, especially if they get them often.
  • Drink plenty of water every day.
  • Urinate when you need to, donít hold it in.
  • Wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria from entering the vagina or urethra.
  • Avoid use of feminine hygiene sprays or douches.
  • If you get a lot of urinary tract infections and use spermicides or creams that kill sperm, talk to your health care provider about using other forms of birth control.


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