A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that occurs in any part of the urinary system including the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra.
UTIs usually develop when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and begin to multiply in the bladder. UTIs develop more often in women than men. Infections confined to your bladder can be merely uncomfortable, but if the infection spreads to your kidneys, it can have serious consequences.
Symptoms of a UTI include:
- A persistent urge to urinate
- A burning sensation when you urinate
- Frequent but small urine flow
- Cloudy urine
- Red or bright pink urine, indicating blood in the urine
- Strong urine odor
- Pelvic pain in women
UTIs are typically treated with antibiotics, but if left untreated, they can lead to complications such as recurrent infections, permanent kidney damage, increased risk in women of delivering low birth weight or premature infants, or urethral narrowing in men.