Urinary Infections

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection that affects part of the urinary tract. When it affects the lower urinary tract it is known as a simple cystitis (a bladder infection) and when it affects the upper urinary tract it is known as pyelonephritis (a kidney infection).

Symptoms

Symptoms from a lower urinary tract include painful urination and either frequent urination or urge to urinate (or both), while upper urinary tract include fever and flank pain in addition to the symptoms of a lower UTI. In the elderly and the very young, symptoms may be vague.

Urinary tract infections occur more commonly in women than men, with half of women having at least one infection at some point in their lives. Recurrences are common. Risk factors include female anatomy, sexual intercourse and family history.

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