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A urinary tract infection (UTI) occurs when bacteria begins to infect the urinary tract. Usually, this points to an infection in the lower tract, meaning the bladder and the urethra that connects the bladder to the outside of the body. In more serious cases, the infection could also spread into the upper tract, including the kidneys.

UTIs typically occur when foreign bacteria find their way into the urethra from the outside. Some people are known to be more prone to these types of infections, but the reason why is still unknown to doctors and researchers. What has been proven is that those who have experienced UTIs before are much more likely to have them return in the future. Moreover, women are far more vulnerable to UTIs due to the location as well as the shortness of the female urethra compared to men. Even furthermore, individuals with disabilities as well as elderly people are more prone to lower tract infections. In these situations, infections can be easily missed and turn into life-threatening problems. Proper hygiene is important for absolutely everybody to prevent risks of infection.

Though bacteria is the cause of UTIs, they are not contagious and cannot be caught from someone else.

Depending on the severity of the infection as well as the inherent differences between individuals, symptoms of a UTI may vary, but the most common signs of an infection are:

  • Strong urge to urinate with only smalls amounts of urine being produced

  • Urinating more often

  • Burning sensation during urination

  • Cloudy or brown-coloured urine

  • Possible fever

In order to ease symptoms while waiting for treatment to take effect, keep yourself hydrated. Many UTI sufferers experience relief by drinking cranberry juice.

If you think you are suffering from a UTI and are experiencing a significant amount of discomfort that has not resolved on its own, schedule an appointment with one of our physicians. They can diagnose a UTI with some simple steps and subsequently discuss treatment options.

Thankfully, infections in the lower tract are generally easy to resolve. However, these infections can spread upwards in the urinary tract, affecting the kidneys. When this happens, individuals can experience abdominal pain, fever, nausea, and vomiting. Kidney infections are very serious and should be treated by a physician.

In order to prevent UTIs, it is important to avoid holding your urine for any extended period of time. Individuals of any gender who are sexually active should ensure to urinate after intercourse to help stave off infection.

UTIs can be irritating and extremely uncomfortable, but there are many options for relief. Your healthcare team can help get rid of your infection and prevent any serious complications. Visit your nearest Imagine Health Centres location and talk to one of our physicians about the treatment and prevention of UTIs. What’s more important than your health?


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