Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are common, particularly among women, and can cause discomfort and health complications if untreated. Recognizing the symptoms and understanding how they are diagnosed is key to effective treatment. This article provides an overview of UTIs and guidance on recognizing their signs.
What is a Urinary Tract Infection?
A UTI is an infection in any part of the urinary system, including kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. Most infections involve the lower urinary tract — the bladder and the urethra.
Symptoms of a UTI:
- A burning feeling during urination
- Frequent or intense urges to urinate, even when little comes out
- Cloudy, dark, bloody, or strange-smelling urine
- Feeling tired or shaky
- Fever or chills (a sign the infection may have reached your kidneys)
Diagnosing a UTI:
Diagnosis typically involves a urine sample to check for bacteria, white blood cells, or red blood cells. In recurrent cases, further tests like a cystoscopy or imaging tests may be recommended.
When to Seek Medical Help:
If you’re experiencing symptoms of a UTI, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional. Early treatment can prevent the infection from spreading to the kidneys and other complications.