It Burns! The Truth About Urinary Tract Infections

You've got that burning feeling and it's no fun, we know. Urinary Tract Infections affect both men and women and also children and can be incredibly painful. Sometimes the kidneys are affected, resulting in a fever, vomiting, nausea and lower back pain. For women, UTIs can be a result of having sex as well. Here's what you need to know about the signs, treating and preventing UTIs. 


When it comes to bacterial infections, UTIs (urinary tract infections) are responsible for more almost million visits to physicians' offices per year and about five percent of all visits to primary care physicians.  Statistically, about 40% of women and 12% of men will have a symptomatic urinary tract infection, that is, one that presents with symptoms like pain, burning, or urgency, during their lifetime.  It is true that antibiotic resistance in is on the rise worldwide, but there has been a specific rise in resistant strains of E Coli.  This is especially troublesome because E Coli bacteria causes more than 80% of UTIs.

UTI’s happen when bacteria get into the urinary tract from the urethra and travel into the bladder or further on to the kidneys.  When functioning normally, the urinary tract makes and stores urine, one of the waste products of the body. Urine is made in the kidneys and travels down the ureters to the bladder, which serves as a storage container for urine.  Urine from the bladder is emptied through the urethra, a tube that connects the bladder to the outside of the body. When bacteria gets into the urethra, for one reason or another, that is when the typical symptoms of UTI can present themselves.  

Symptoms of UTI'S

  • Hematuria, or blood in the urine; urine that appears red, bright pink or cola-colored is a sign of blood in the urine
  • Urine that appears cloudy
  • Strong-smelling urine
  • A strong, persistent urge to urinate
  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
  • Women may experience pelvic pain
  • Men may experience rectal pain


Until there is a better solution, limiting antibiotic use for those who actually present with UTI symptoms rather than just elevated white blood counts in their urine (which may or may not mean infection) is crucial.  Because UTI’s are so common, knowing how to avoid UTIs can also be helpful.  1. Keep hydrated, drinking plenty of fluids will help flush the urinary tract. 2. Do not hold in your urine, this increase the risk of UTI. 3. Wipe from front to back, to prevent bacteria from entering the urethra. 4. Urinate after sex, this can also decrease the risk of UTI because it can flush out any bacteria that may have been introducing during sex.