Urinary tract infection is as a bacterial infection that occurs when bacteria enters the urethra and multiply in the urinary tract. The urinary tract is made up of the kidneys, ureters, bladder and the urethra. The infection is characterized by which part of the urinary tract is infected; lower urinary tract is the urethra and bladder and the upper urinary tract is the ureters and kidneys. This is common infection in men, women and children.
There are three types of urinary tract infections that may form:
- Cystitis is caused by a bacterial infection of the bladder.
- Urethritis is caused by a bacterial infection of the urethra.
- Pyelonephritis is caused by a bacterial infection of the kidney.
The symptoms of urinary tract infection depend upon which type of infection and which portion of the urinary tract is infected.
Lower urinary tract infection symptoms are:
- Back pain
- blood in urine
- cloudy urine
- inability to urinate
- frequent urination
- painful urination
- general discomfort
Upper urinary tract infection symptoms are:
- high fever
- pain below the ribs
Once symptoms occur, the following diagnostic tests may be performed:
- Urine culture: a urine sample is tested for signs of bacterial infection.
- Urinalysis: a urine sample is tested to discover whether or not blood is present in the urine.
The treatment of urinary tract infections is antibacterial medications. The type of medication used is determined by the type of bacterial infections.