Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)A urinary tract infection, or UTI, is an infection of any part of the urinary tract, which includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. This is a health problem that affects millions of people each year and is the second most common type of infection in the body. Bacteria can find their way into normal urine, when this happens and the urine passes through the urinary system it can start a UTI infection. Several factors can lead to a higher chance of infection. People with an enlarged prostate gland, which slows urine flow, are at higher risk. Also people with decreased immune system function are at risk, as are people with urinary tract malformation. People who have catheters are also at an increased risk. As women age they have an increased chance of UTI.
Most types of UTI can be treated with oral and sometimes intravenous antibiotics. Patients with recurrent UTIs, for example women who have had at least three, may need longer courses of antibiotics. There are several things that a patient can do to try and prevent UTI including drinking plenty of water, not resisting the urge to urinate, cleaning the genitals before and after sex, urinating within 15 minutes after intercourse, and taking showers not baths. Proper care of a UTI will give the patient a very good prognosis.