what I need to know about urinary tract infections (UTI)

Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

        The urinary system consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Infections of the urinary tract are the second most common type of infection in the body. You may have a urinary tract infection (UTI) if you have any of these signs or symptoms:
        - pain or burning when you use the bathroom
        - fever, tiredness or shakiness
        - an urge to use the bathroom often
        - pressure in your lower belly
        - urine that smells bad or looks cloudy or reddish
        - less frequently, nausea or back pain

        Usually, a UTI is caused by bacteria that can also live in the digestive tract, in the vagina, or around the urethra, which is at the entrance to the urinary tract. Most often these bacteria enter the urethra and travel to the bladder and kidneys.

        If you think you have a UTI, it is important to see your doctor. Your doctor can look through a microscope and can find bacteria in a sample of your urine.

        Once it is determined that your symptoms have been caused by an infection, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic. Antibiotics can kill the bacteria causing the infection. The antibiotic prescribed will depend on the type of bacteria found.