What doctors wish patients knew about UTI prevention

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If the infection has set up a little and has developed, it might be a little bit more serious—you might develop some back pain or even fever, chills, nausea, vomiting and just feeling bad in general. Photo: Pexels


(Sara Berg/ American Medical Association) — A strong urge to urinate that doesn’t go away, a burning feeling when urinating and any other discomfort or problem with urination, can be signs of a urinary tract infection (UTI), which is very common in the U.S. While most UTIs are not serious, some can lead to further complications such as kidney infections. That is why knowing the first signs of a UTI and what to do are key.

UTIs, which happen when bacteria get into any part of the urinary tract such as the kidneys, bladder or urethra, cause more than 8 million visits to the doctor annually. About 60% of women and 12% of men will have at least one UTI during their lifetime, according to the American Urological Association.

“Most women who are having symptomatic UTIs will present with burning with urination. So, all of a sudden, they have this onset of pain with urination,” Dr. Steers said. “The other kind of classic symptoms would be needing to go to the bathroom more frequently or urgently—so needing to get to the bathroom quickly.

“If those symptoms are new, that could be concerning for a urinary tract infection,” she added. “In older women, especially, sometimes urinary tract infections are a little bit more subtle, and they may not notice that burning with urination, but might notice more abdominal pain or they might just feel generally unwell—they might have fevers or chills, they might have malaise or nausea and vomiting.” (…)

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