Prevention and Wellness

Answers to Common Urology Questions

Premier Physician Network doctors answer frequently asked questions about urology.

What is a urinary tract infection?

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in your urinary tract, which includes the bladder, kidneys and urethra, according to the American Academy of Family PhysiciansOff Site Icon (AAFP).

Talk to your doctor for more information about urinary tract infections.

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What are the symptoms of a urinary tract infection?

There are a variety of symptoms that you can have with a urinary tract infection (UTI), according to the American Academy of Family PhysiciansOff Site Icon (AAFP).

UTI symptoms could include:

  • Burning or pain when you urinate
  • Cloudy, dark, bloody, smelly urine
  • Feeling the need to urinate more often than usual
  • Having the urge to urinate but not being able to
  • Leaking small amounts of urine

For more information about symptoms of a urinary tract infection, talk with your doctor.

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What puts you at a higher risk for developing a urinary tract infection?

Women are at higher risk of developing a urinary tract infection (UTI) than men, according to the American Academy of Family PhysiciansOff Site Icon (AAFP). This is because women have a shorter urethra, making it easier for bacteria to reach the bladder. 

Sexual intercourse can also cause a UTI, especially in women, because bacteria can easily be pushed into the urethra. 

The risk of UTIs also increases in women who use a diaphragm, because the diaphragm makes it harder for the bladder to empty, which makes it more likely for bacteria to cause infections. 

Talk to your doctor for more information about who is at higher risk for developing a urinary tract infection. 

For more information about symptoms of a urinary tract infection, talk with your doctor.

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What can you do to reduce your risk for a urinary tract infection?

You can take a variety of steps to reduce your risk of getting a urinary tract infection (UTI), according to the American Academy of Family PhysiciansOff Site Icon (AAFP).

Those steps include:

  • Avoid bubble baths
  • Avoid using a diaphragm as birth control if you get UTIs frequently
  • Don’t hold your urine
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Urinate after having sexual intercourse
  • Use plenty of lubrication during sexual intercourse
  • Wash foreskin regularly if you are uncircumcised
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing, including underwear
  • Wipe from front to back after a bowel movement

For more information about reducing your risk of a urinary tract infection, talk with your doctor.

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Source: Nicholas Davis, MD, Centerville Family Medicine

Content Updated: April 5, 2018

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