Urinary tract infection, or UTI, is the infection of any part of the urinary tract, including kidneys, urinary bladder, urethra, and ureters (tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder). The most common among them is the infection of bladder, which when treated immediately, can prevent infection of the kidneys. This is important, as kidney infections may lead to permanent damage. Infections of the urinary tract are common and the majority of them are not serious and go unnoticed. In some cases, if left without treatment, infection may lead to kidney damage and even death.
About half of women suffer from a UTI at least once in their lifetime, while many of them have frequent, recurrent infections, which affect their daily life. Women are more susceptible to these infections when compared to men.
Some of the common symptoms of the infection include:
- A strong urge to urinate frequently and not able to delay it for long
- Burning sensation or pain while urinating
- Passing small amounts of urine each time the urge occurs
- Cloudy and foul smelling urine
- Feeling of tenderness or heaviness in the abdomen
- Pain on one side of the back
- Fever and chills
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rectal pain in men