Urinary Tract Infections

What are urinary tract infections and what causes them?

Urinary tract, or bladder, infections are common health problems for women, and less frequent for men. Bacteria that enter through the urethra (the tube that drains urine from the bladder) and grow in the bladder generally cause urinary infections. Women are more likely to have bladder infections because they have much shorter urethras than men.


What are some symptoms of a urinary tract infection?

Common symptoms of a urinary tract infection include a burning sensation while urinating and frequent urination in small amounts. Low abdominal pain or back pain also may be present.


What kind of treatment is available for a urinary tract infection?

You should seek medical attention for symptoms of a urinary tract infection. Antibiotics are usually the treatment of choice. You need to seek immediate medical attention if you experience a fever or chills, abdominal or back pain, or vomiting.


How can I prevent a urinary tract infection?

You should always drink plenty of fluids. Avoid holding your urine for long periods of time. You should urinate promptly after intercourse, especially if you are a woman. You may try drinking cranberry juice, which may be helpful in prevention.