5 Signs of a Urinary Tract Infection

5 Signs of a Urinary Tract Infection

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is something many women and some men have had to deal with at some point in their lives. It happens when bacteria from outside your urinary tract enter it, usually through your urethra. 

The infection itself can manifest anywhere in your urinary system, including your urethra, bladder, ureters, or even your kidneys. The higher up the infection, the more severe it can become. Fortunately, most UTIs are milder and affect the lower parts of your urinary tract such as your urethra and bladder. 

Our Westmed Family Healthcare experts Clifton Etienne, MDMichael Cavanagh, MD, and Flora Brewington, MD, often see people with urinary tract infections. At our office in Westminster, Colorado, a same-day urgent care visit can result in an accurate UTI diagnosis in addition to tips and medications to alleviate your UTI and its symptoms. 

Familiarizing yourself with five of the most glaring signs of a UTI can help you identify it early and treat it before it migrates to your kidneys.

1. Frequent urination

If you find yourself racing to the restroom frequently despite having no known incontinence issues, this could be an early sign of a urinary tract infection. In fact, you might feel the need to sit on the toilet for long periods of time in an attempt to fully relieve yourself despite producing little or no urinary output. 

The frequent urge to urinate when you have a UTI is due to swelling and irritation in the lining of your urethra or bladder. It’s similar to experiencing irritation in your throat when you have a cold, which urges you to cough or clear your throat. 

2. Pain or burning while you urinate

Burning during urination is perhaps the most unmistakable sign of a urinary tract infection. Coupled with the increased urge to urinate, painful urination can be an all-day issue instead of just a few-times-a-day issue. 

The pain you feel while urinating is due to the urine running along the irritated lining of your urethra. Sometimes, you might see some blood in your urine or a pink hue as red blood cells leak from the urethra walls. 

3. Cloudy urine

Your urine is usually pretty transparent whether it’s dark yellow, colorless, or anything in-between. However, a urinary tract infection can make your urine look more opaque or cloudy. 

You might first assume that the clouded appearance comes from the bacteria lining your urinary tract, but in fact, the opacity is a sign of an immune response to the bacteria and not from the bacteria itself. 

When you have a UTI, white blood cells flock to the region to fight your infection. The opalescent appearance of your urine is because of the white blood cells you excrete in your urine. 

4. A foul urine odor

You can’t exactly expect urine to ever smell good, but a particularly strong or sour smell from your urine is a common sign of a UTI. You might notice the smell before you notice any difference in how your urine looks. 

5. Pelvic aches

Aches and pains in your pelvis, your abdomen, and even your lower back are possible signs of an infection somewhere along your urinary tract. Along with aches and pains in your lower torso, fatigue is a common symptom of an increasing UTI.

If your pain migrates to your middle to upper back, it could be a sign that the infection has reached your kidneys. No matter which level of discomfort you feel, it’s always a good idea to explore these new aches with your physician. 

If you experience symptoms such as these, even if they seem mild and you think you can alleviate them at home, don’t hesitate to contact our office. Schedule an appointment over the phone or online today. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Does Stress Really Affect Your Blood Pressure?

A stressful day here and there may be a typical part of life, but stress can have both temporary and long-term effects on your health. Explore the connections between stress and hypertension in this article.

How to Plan a Diabetes-Friendly Dinner

Making dinner for friends or family can be fulfilling, but you want to be sure what you’re making is friendly to everyone’s diet. If you’re wondering how to plan a diabetes-friendly dinner, find out here.

The Pill vs. an IUD: Which Is Right for Me?

Choosing a form of birth control can take a few trial runs as you explore the benefits and drawbacks of each type. The pill and the IUD are top contenders. Learn about both to decide which is right for you.

Your Birth Control Options Explained

Choosing a form of birth control that meets your needs can take some trial and error, and there are benefits and drawbacks to each option. Here, you can learn about your options for birth control and what they have to offer.