Urinary tract, or bladder infections are common health problems for women. They are caused by bacteria that enter through the urethra (the tube that drains urine from the bladder) and grow in the bladder, a normally sterile environment. Women are more likely to have bladder infections because they have much shorter urethras than men. Common symptoms of a urinary tract infection include a burning sensation while urinating, frequent, small volume urination, and a crampy, spasmodic sensation of the low abdomen. Development of fever, nausea, and severe back pain can indicate progression to a kidney infection (pyelonephritis).
Males, especially sexually active young men, who have burning with urination are much more likely to have urethritis. This is usually a sexually transmitted infection caused by chlamydia or another organism.
- Seek medical attention for symptoms of a urinary track infection (UTI) or urethritis. If one of these is diagnosed, antibiotics are usually needed.
- Seek immediate medical attention for fever or chills, abdominal or back pain, or vomiting.
- Be attentive to hydration
- Avoid holding your urine for long periods of time
- Urinate promptly after intercourse, especially if you are a woman