Icon - What is a urinary tract infection (UTI)

What is a urinary tract infection (UTI)

Urinary tract infections  are very common, particularly in women, babies and the elderly.

Around one in two women and one in 20 men will get a urinary tract infection in their lifetime.

A urinary tract infection (UTI) can range from an infection of the bladder to an infection of the kidney.

If the infection is in the urethra it is called urethritis. If it is in the vagina it is called vaginitis.

An infection in the bladder, called cystitis, is the most common lower urinary tract infection and causes the bladder lining to become raw and inflamed.

An infection in the upper urinary tract, called pyelonephritis, is very serious as it may affect the kidneys.

To diagnose a urinary tract infection a doctor can perform a simple urine test. A urine sample may be sent to a laboratory to identify the specific cause of the infection and to help determine the correct course of treatment, which is usually in the form of an antibiotic.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs)The causes
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