Written on December 13, 2022 by Gillian (Gigi) Singer, MPH, Sexuality Educator & Certified Sexologist. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
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According to the Mayo Clinic, “urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of the urinary system,” which includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra . The most common form of UTI is a bladder infection, aka cystitis .
Females are more likely than males to develop UTIs since the female urethra is shorter and close to the anus — this means that bacteria from poop are more easily introduced into the urethra, leading to infection. A short urethra means less distance for bacteria to travel to the bladder, which also leads to infection.
UTIs are usually more pesky than dangerous. However, without treatment, the infection can spread to the kidneys (at that point, it’s called pyelonephritis), which is more serious and requires even more medical attention.
The CDC lists the following as risk facts for UTIs :
Additionally, keep in mind that children and elderly folks may not be able to communicate their symptoms to caregivers and/or healthcare providers.
UTIs may or may not cause symptoms, but keep in mind that symptoms may vary according to the location of the infection. The CDC lists the following symptoms for each type of infection :
Symptoms of a bladder infection can include:
Symptoms of a kidney infection can include:
To prevent the infection from spreading, you should seek out medical attention if you have any concerning symptoms.
Everlywell now offers fast and easy UTI treatment online so you don’t have to worry about going to your healthcare provider’s office. During your visit, you will receive care from a licensed nurse practitioner using technology that protects your privacy. Visits can cost as low as $10, and even without insurance (though major insurance plans are accepted), an appointment costs less than $60.
Telehealth with Everlywell is as easy as 1, 2, 3:
Other than UTIs, you can get treatment for:
To diagnose a UTI, a healthcare provider will likely ask you about your symptoms, do a physical exam, and/or order urine tests .
Treatment for UTIs includes antibiotics. According to the CDC, “Bacteria cause UTIs, and antibiotics treat them. However, any time you take antibiotics, they can cause side effects. Side effects can include rash, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, and yeast infections. More serious side effects can include antibiotic-resistant infections or C. diff infection, which causes diarrhea that can lead to severe colon damage and death. Call your healthcare professional if you develop any side effects while taking your antibiotic” .
Your healthcare provider may also take measures to rule out STIs, which can present similarly.
The CDC gives the following recommendations :
Ultimately UTIs can’t always be prevented, but the CDC lists the following as preventative measures :
Experiencing UTI symptoms? Try Everlywell's online UTI treatment option.