Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are very common. It is estimated that just over 10 percent of women have this type of infection each year. Unfortunately, a woman's anatomy makes her more prone to getting UTIs because her urethra is shorter, meaning bacteria has a lesser distance to travel before going to the bladder. But as we get older, the incidence of UTIs is about equal regarless of what sex you are.
Anyone who's suffered through a urinary tract infection will tell you that they don't want to experience it again-- the agony of that terrible and painful burning feeling and relentless need to pee.
Listed below are the warning signs that you might just have Urinary tract infection:
1. Sharp pain or burning sensation when you urinate
An uncomfortable burning sensation and pain when you pee is often the first sign of a UTI or bacteria in the urethra or bladder. But it does not mean you have a full-blown UTI unless it progresses. Oftentimes, the burning is from the acidic urine irritating the lining of the bladder and urethra. The bacteria damages the linings and the acidic urine causes the burn.
2. You feel the need to pee again but not much urine comes out
UTIs can cause urge incontinence, wherein the bladder becomes hyperactive, irritable or overactive. If you find yourself going to the bathroom frequently or more than eight times in 24 hours, including a couple of times overnight, this could be a sign of a urinary tract infection.
3. Your urine looks cloudy
If your urine is not its usual clear, straw-yellow or lighter color, something might be wrong. But before you panic, consider first what food you ate, what medicines you take, and the concentration of the urine. Foods like beets can make your pee pinkish or reddish in color, but you won't have any pain and the color will quickly pass. A cloudy color urine could be a result of a bacterial infection in your urinary tract.
4. Urine with strong smelly odor
Some foods like coffee may be a culprit why your pee has a smell. But if your urine still smells after going a couple of times and still has a strong, pungent odor or paired with a cloudy or bloody color, it is time to seek professional help.
5. You have pain in your lower abdomen, sides or lower back
Pain in the back and side could signal a kidney infection. Pressure in the pelvic area or lower abdomen is a symptom of bladder infection. In men, the inflammation of the prostate gland due to an infection in the urinary tract includes pain in the lower back, penis, testicles, and the area between the scrotum and anus.
If you suspect these UTI symptoms, consult your doctor immediately. A physician will generally prescribe antibiotics that will clear a simple bacterial infection in a matter of days. But if the infection is left untreated, bacteria could spread to your kidneys causing other symptoms such as back pain, fever, chills, nausea and vomiting or could even develop into a life-threatening blood infection called sepsis.