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Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

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Urinary tract infection (UTI) facts

  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are infections of the urethra, bladder, ureters, or the kidneys, which comprise the urinary tract.
  • E. coli bacteria cause the majority of UTIs, but many other bacteria, fungi, and parasites may also cause UTIs.
  • Females have a higher risk for UTIs than most males, probably because of their anatomy; other risk factors for UTIs include any condition that may impede urine flow (e.g., enlarged prostate, congenital urinary tract abnormalities, and inflammation). Patients with catheters or those who undergo urinary surgery and men with enlarged prostates are at higher risk for UTIs.
  • Symptoms and signs of UTI vary somewhat depending on sex, age, and the area of the urinary tract that is infected; some unique symptoms develop depending on the infecting agent.
  • UTIs are diagnosed usually by isolating and identifying the urinary pathogen from the patient; there are some home tests available for presumptive diagnosis.
  • There are home remedies for UTI, but most may, at best, help reduce the risk or discomfort of UTIs. They are not considered cures for the disease.
  • There can be many complications of urinary tract infections, including dehydration, sepsis, kidney stones, kidney failure, and death.
  • If treated early and adequately, the prognosis is good for most patients with a UTI.
  • Although there is no vaccine available for UTIs, there are many ways a person may reduce the chance of getting a UTI.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/7/2014


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