Urinary Tract Infection FAQs
Reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
- How much urine does the average adult pass each day?
- What is the most common cause of a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
- What is a common UTI risk factor in adults?
- What are signs and symptoms of a UTI in adults?
- How many people in the U.S. visit the doctor each year to be treated for a UTI?
- To prevent urinary tract infections, some doctors recommend that people drink which liquid?
- On average, what percentage of pregnant women develops UTIs?
- Which antibiotics are used in the treatment of uncomplicated UTIs?
- How can women prevent urinary tract infections?
- A pregnant woman who develops a UTI needs prompt treatment. True or False?
- What causes UTIs in men?
- Drinking water may provide some relief from UTI pain. True or False?
- What percentage of women who have a UTI will have another?
- What is the urinary system?
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Q:How much urine does the average adult pass each day?
A:An average adult passes about 6 cups of urine daily.
This amount varies depending on how much you eat and drink and how active you are. During the night, your body produces about half the volume of urine that is produced during the day.
Q:What is the most common cause of a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
A:The most common cause of a urinary tract infection (UTI) is the bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli</i>), which is typically found in the colon.
In women, sexual intercourse can cause these bacteria to be introduced into the urinary tract and lead to a bladder infection (cystitis). Other bacteria including Chlamydia, Mycoplasma, and Gonorrhea, as well as the herpes virus can cause infections of the urethra (urethritis).
Q:What is a common UTI risk factor in adults?
A:Risk factors for UTIs in adults include:
Q:What are signs and symptoms of a UTI in adults?
A:Urinary tract infections are infections that involve the bladder (most common) or the kidneys. Symptoms of a bladder infection include:
Symptoms of a kidney infection are the same as those for a bladder infection, as well as:
Q:How many people in the U.S. visit the doctor each year to be treated for a UTI?
A:Each year, about 8.1 million people see a doctor about a urinary tract infection.
Women tend to be more prone to UTIs than men, for two reasons:
Q:To prevent urinary tract infections, some doctors recommend that people drink which liquid?
A:Cranberry juice has long been touted as a home remedy of choice to prevent urinary tract infections.
The active ingredient in cranberries, A-type proanthocyanidins (PACs), has been shown to block bacteria from adhering to the wall of the bladder. However, it takes an extremely large concentration of cranberry to accomplish this, a concentration not found in typical juices we drink. Further, any concentration of these PACs is long gone by the time it reaches the bladder. Drinking cranberry juice may help hydrate you, which can help wash bacteria from your body, but water can accomplish the same thing. Drinking cranberry juice won't hurt, but it probably won't help either.
Q:On average, what percentage of pregnant women develops UTIs?
A:About 1.5% of women in the U.S. develop a urinary tract infection during pregnancy.
It is believed hormonal changes combined with the increased weight of a growing uterus blocking urine from passing out of the bladder contributes to a greater incidence of UTIs in pregnancy. UTIs in pregnant women involve the kidneys more often than the bladder.
Q:Which antibiotics are used in the treatment of uncomplicated UTIs?
A:The treatment of choice for urinary tract infections is antibiotics.
Most courses last three to seven days, though if you have a kidney infection you may need to take antibiotics for up to two weeks. The most commonly used medications for treating UTIs include:
In some cases, medications to numb the bladder such as phenazopyridine (Pyridium) may be prescribed if the UTI is especially painful.
Q:How can women prevent urinary tract infections?
A:Women can take steps to prevent urinary tract infections.
Q:A pregnant woman who develops a UTI needs prompt treatment. True or False?
A pregnant woman who develops a UTI must get prompt treatment to prevent a kidney infection. A kidney infection during pregnancy can cause high blood pressure, early labor, premature delivery, and low birth weight.
Q:What causes UTIs in men?
A:Urinary stones or an enlarged prostate can obstruct the flow of urine and cause a urinary tract infection in men.
Catheters placed in the urethra or bladder can introduce bacteria into the urinary tract and cause a UTI.
Q:Drinking water may provide some relief from UTI pain. True or False?
Urinary tract infections can be painful. Some home remedies that may provide pain relief include using a heating pad, and drinking plenty of water to help flush the urinary tract and rid it of bacteria.
Q:What percentage of women who have a UTI will have another?
A:In general, about 20%-30% of women that develop a UTI will develop a second UTI.
Urinary tract infections are more common in women than in men; up to 20% of women will experience at least one UTI in their lifetime. About 20% percent of women will have a second UTI, and up to 30 percent of those women will have a third. Of those women who have a third UTI, about 80% of them will have recurrent UTIs.
Q:What is the urinary system?
A:The main organs of the urinary system include two kidneys, two ureters, the bladder, and the urethra.
Excess liquid and waste in the blood pass through the kidneys and form urine. Salts and other substances in the Waste and extra fluids in the body are filtered by the kidneys and passed on through tubes called ureters into the bladder. The bladder holds urine until it is full, and then signals are sent to your brain that it is time to urinate, and urine passes out of the body through a tube called the urethra.
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