Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

Overview of Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

Urinary Tract Infection Meaning in Urdu

پیشاب کی نالی کا انفیکشن ایک ایسا انفیکشن ہے جو کہ پیشاب کے نظام کے کسی بھی حصے کو متاثر کر سکتا ہے۔ پیشاب کے نظام میں گردے، مثانہ ، اور  پیشاب کی نالی شامل ہے۔ یہ انفیکشن زیادہ پیشاب کی نالی کے نچلے حصے کو متاثر کرتا ہے۔ پیشاب کی نالی کا انفیکشن مرد و عورت دونوں کو متاثر کر سکتا ہے، تاہم مردوں کی نسبت عورتوں کو اس انفیکشن کا زیادہ سامنا کرنا پڑتا ہے۔ پیشاب کی نالی کے انفیکشن کی بنیادی علامات میں پیشاب کرتے وقت جلن، بدبودار پیشاب، کالا پیشاب، اور جسم کے نچلے حصے میں درد شامل ہے۔

A urinary tract infection (UTI) results from the pathogenic microbes that attack any part of the urinary tract such as the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Most commonly affected are the lower urinary tract regions— the bladder and the urethra. It is typically caused by bacteria but in some cases, fungi or viruses can also affect the urinary tract.

Females tend to be more sensitive to these urinary microbes than males. Below are the major urinary microbes that cause UTIs.

  • BacteriaEscherichia coli (E.coli), Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • FungiCandida, Cryptococcus neoformans 
  • VirusAdenovirus, Cytomegalovirus

Prevalence of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Urinary tract infection is one of the leading causes of death globally. Women are affected more than males. Almost 50% of women reported UTIs and about 20% to 40% of women suffered from recurrent UTIs worldwide.

Signs and Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

Common signs and symptoms of UTI in both men and women include:

  • A strong, persistent urge to urinate
  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
  • Urine that appears cloudy
  • Urine that appears red, bright pink, or cola-colored — a sign of blood in the urine
  • Strong-smelling urine
  • Pelvic pain, in women — especially in the center of the pelvis and around the area of the pubic bone
  • In some cases of urinary tract infections, UTI symptoms in men include rectal pain while most women feel pelvic pain

Types of Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

Types of urinary tract infections are based on the organs that are involved. The type of UTIs is directly linked with the symptoms of the infected region.

The following table shows the affected organ and the symptoms related to it.


Infected Regions of the Urinary Tract

UTI Symptoms


Kidneys (Acute Pyelonephritis)

  • Severe fever

  • Upper back and flank pain

  • Shivering and chills

  • Vomiting

  • Nausea


Bladder (Cystitis)

  • Exert pressure on pelvic regions

  • Lower abdominal pain

  • Blood in urine

  • Frequent, painful urination


Urethra (Urethritis)

  • Burning micturition

  • Fluid Discharge 



  • Infection of the vagina.

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge

  • Itching 

  • Discomfort during Intercourse




Causes of Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

Urinary tract infections are commonly caused by Escherichia coli (E.coli), affecting the bladder, urethra, or kidney. In some cases, other species of bacteria may affect it too.


Risk Factors of Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

Urinary tract infections commonly occur in women more than males. As per studies, women suffer from UTI at least once in their lifetime. Risk factors for UTI include:

  • The length of the urethra is shorter in women than in males. This decreases the distance between the urethra and bladder, due to which bacteria move towards the urethra more quickly in females.
  • Sexually active women tend to have more UTI problems.
  • Women who are more likely to use diaphragms for birth control are at higher risk than women who use spermicidal agents.
  • Women after menopause are more prone to urinary tract infections due to a decrease in circulating estrogen.

Other general risk factors for UTIs are as follows:

  • Babies have congenital urinary tract abnormalities in which it is difficult to pass urine from the body.
  • Any blockages in the urinary tract such as kidney stones or an enlarged prostate can hold urine in the bladder which leads to an increase in the risk of UTIs.
  • Other diseases like diabetes weaken the immune system and can increase the risk of UTIs.
  • People who use a catheter for urination may have an increased risk of UTIs. Patients who are mostly hospitalized or have any mental disorders come under this category.

Health Complications of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

If urinary tract infections are left untreated then the following complications of UTI may arise:

  • People who have UTIs more than once within a year is a recurrent infection that ultimately leads to serious complications.
  • Permanent kidney damage from an acute or chronic kidney infection (pyelonephritis).
  • Urethral narrowing (stricture) in men from recurrent urethritis, like gonococcal urethritis.
  • A potentially life-threatening complication of infection affects the kidney to develop serious complications of UTIs.



Following are the steps that people should do to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Drink cranberry juice
  • Make sure the bladder is empty after intercourse. 
  • Avoid irritating feminine products such as deodorant sprays or douches and powders, in the genital area.
  • Avoid using the birth control materials such as diaphragms, or unlubricated or spermicide-treated condoms. These products can increase the risk of bacterial infections.


The following tests and procedures are used to diagnose urinary tract infections include:

  • Urine Sample Analysis: This test is used to check the white blood cells, red blood cells or bacteria. Before collecting the sample, doctors advise wiping off the genital area with an antiseptic pad to avoid the potential contamination of the urine sample. 
  • Urine Culture Test:  It is used to identify the bacteria causing agent. This helps the doctor to choose suitable medications for the patients.
  • Imaging Studies: Computerized tomography (CT scan), ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging(MRI) are performed to check any abnormality in the urinary tract.
  • Cystoscopy: It consists of a thin long tube with a lens to help check the inner areas of the urethra and bladder. 

Treatment of Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) | When to Consult a Doctor

UTIs are treated by either home remedies or medical treatment. Most people reduce the severity of UTIs with the help of natural herbs or remedies at home such as:

  • Intake of Vitamin C helps to increase the acidity of urine which kills the bacteria.
  • Drink a lot of water to remove the toxic microbes from the body.
  • Take probiotics to maintain the balance of good and bad bacteria in the body.
  • Intake of garlic extract, D-Mannose sugar, or bearberry leaf to avoid the UTIs recurrence.

UTI treatment depends on the cause of the infection but antibiotics are the first line of treatment among all medical therapies. A doctor prescribes antibiotics for UTI based on the identified bacteria in the urine sample.

The best antibiotics for UTIs are as follows:

  • Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra, others)
  • Fosfomycin (Monurol)
  • Nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin, Macrobid)
  • Cephalexin (Keflex)
  • Ceftriaxone

Another group of antibiotics is known as fluoroquinolones which most doctors recommend for the treatment of chronic UTIs such as   

  • Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
  • Levofloxacin (Levaquin) 

Generally, the symptoms of UTIs are relieved from these antibiotics within a few days but completion of the antibiotic course is required to prevent a recurrence. The course of antibiotics depends on the severity of the infection and the medical history of the patient.

Along with the antibiotics, a doctor may prescribe the pain killer to numb the bladder and urethra to treat the burning during urination. 

If the individual has frequent UTIs, a doctor may give the following recommendations which are as follows:

  • Low-dose antibiotics may prescribe for six months or longer
  • Self-diagnosis and proper follow-ups are required for quick relief from UTIs.
  • If a person is involved in sexual activity then a single dose of antibiotic is prescribed.
  • For postmenopausal patients, vaginal estrogen therapy is recommended.
  • Intravenous antibiotics are also injected into hospitalized patients.

(Note: Take medication only after consulting with your doctor)