General Practice 2022

6 main symptoms of infectionçãthe urinaryária (with online test)

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6 main symptoms of infectionçãthe urinaryária (with online test)
6 main symptoms of infectionçãthe urinaryária (with online test)

Classic symptoms of a urinary tract infection include pain or burning when urinating, frequent urge to urinate, and very dark, strong-smelling urine.

These symptoms can vary greatly from one person to another and according to the location of the urinary system affected, which can be the urethra, bladder or kidneys. See the symptoms of bladder infection.

Usually, urinary tract infection is caused by bacteria from the intestine that reach the urinary system, and is therefore more frequent in women due to the proximity of the anus to the urethra.

6 common symptoms of urinary tract infection

The most common symptoms of a urinary tract infection are:

  1. Pain or burning when urinating;
  2. Heaviness in the bladder;
  3. Frequent urge to urinate;
  4. Urinating a little;
  5. Very dark urine with a strong smell;
  6. Constant low fever.

In addition, in the most severe cases, blood in the urine is also common.

Online Symptom Test

If you think you may have a urinary tract infection, select what you are feeling and see what your risk is:

  1. 1.Pain or burning sensation when urinating Yes No
  2. 2.Frequent and sudden urge to urinate in small amounts Yes No
  3. 3.Feeling of not being able to empty the bladder Yes No
  4. 4.Heaviness or discomfort in the bladder region Yes No
  5. 5.Cloudy or bloody urine Yes No
  6. 6.Persistent low-grade fever (between 37th, 5th and 38th) Yes No


Make an appointment with a specialist

Treatment for urinary infection should be guided by a urologist or general practitioner and usually includes taking antibiotics, because when it is not properly treated, it can reach the kidneys, being a more serious complication.

Watch the video below and learn to identify all the symptoms and the main treatments for urinary tract infection:

Types of urinary tract infection

The symptoms of urinary tract infection may vary according to the type of infection and the affected site:

1. Urethritis: infection in the urethra

Urethritis arises when bacteria infect only the urethra, causing inflammation and symptoms such as:

  • Frequent urge to urinate;
  • Difficulty starting to urinate;
  • Pain or burning when urinating;
  • Yellowish discharge from the urethra.

In these cases it is advisable to consult a doctor to start treatment with antibiotics, in order to eliminate bacteria from the urethra. However, you should also keep your intimate area clean and dry, as well as increase your water intake.

See also a home remedy to help eliminate symptoms faster.

2. Cystitis: bladder infection

Bladder infection is the most common form of urinary tract infection and happens when bacteria manage to pass through the urethra and reach the bladder, causing:

  • Urgent urge to urinate, but not enough;
  • Burning sensation when urinating;
  • Presence of blood in the urine;
  • Cloudy urine with an intense and unpleasant smell;
  • Abdominal pain or heaviness in the bottom of the belly;
  • Fever up to 38ºC.

It is recommended to consult a urologist or general practitioner as soon as one or more of these symptoms appear to initiate appropriate treatment with antibiotics, in order to prevent the infection from reaching the kidneys.

In case of back pain, fever above 38 ºC or vomiting, go to the emergency room immediately.

Learn more about how this problem is handled.

3. Pyelonephritis: kidney infection

Most urinary infections affect only the urethra or bladder, however, in more severe cases, the bacteria can reach the kidneys and cause a more serious infection, which leads to the appearance of:

  • Fever above 38.5º C;
  • Severe pain in belly, back or groin;
  • Pain or burning when urinating;
  • Cloudy urine;
  • Presence of pus or blood in the urine;
  • Frequent urge to urinate.

Furthermore, chills, nausea, vomiting and excessive tiredness may occur. In the elderly, this type of infection usually causes confusion even before other symptoms appear.

In case of suspected pyelonephritis, it is important to go to the hospital immediately to identify the problem and start treatment with antibiotics directly in the vein. Understand better what pyelonephritis is and its symptoms.

Symptoms of a urinary tract infection in the baby

Identifying the symptoms of a urinary tract infection in a baby can be difficult, as babies and children cannot explain what they are feeling. However, in these cases the most common signs are:

  • Fever above 37.5ºC for no apparent reason;
  • Crying when urinating;
  • Strong smelling urine;
  • Presence of blood in the diaper;
  • Constant irritability;
  • Decreased appetite.

Whenever these symptoms appear, it is important to consult the pediatrician to assess the possibility that the child is developing a urinary tract infection. Understand how the treatment is done in these cases.

Symptoms of urinary tract infection in pregnancy

The symptoms of a urinary tract infection during pregnancy are the same as when you are not pregnant and many times the woman can be asymptomatic, only being discovered during a routine urinalysis. During pregnancy, the infection is more common, due to the decrease in the immune system and the increase in proteins in the urine, which cause greater growth and development of bacteria.

Treatment for urinary tract infection in pregnancy can be done with the intake of antibiotic drugs that do not affect pregnancy and include Cephalexin and Nitrofurantoin. Learn more about medications used to treat urinary tract infection in pregnancy.

How to confirm the diagnosis

The diagnosis of urinary tract infection is made through urinalysis. Other tests can be performed, such as urine culture and antibiogram to know which bacteria are involved to decide the best antibiotic.

Imaging tests such as ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging may be ordered in case of pyelonephritis to identify possible complications caused by the urinary tract infection. These complications can happen when treatment is not started as soon as symptoms appear, and in people with a weakened immune system, being a more difficult situation to happen.

What causes a urinary tract infection

The cause of Urinary Infection is the entry of bacteria into the urinary system, among the most common are: Escherichia coli (about 70% of cases), Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Proteus and Klebsiella species and Enterococcus faecalis. These bacteria can enter through the urethra causing symptoms such as pain in the abdomen, burning and urgency to urinate, and when they continue up, reaching the bladder and kidneys, symptoms such as fever or chills appear, in addition to drops of blood in the urine.

Is a urinary tract infection transmissible?

Urinary infection is not an easily transmitted disease, and although the person's urethra has bacteria these may not proliferate in their partner, however, this depends on the partner's immune system. He althy people have little chance of being infected during sexual intercourse, but the chances increase when they have a weakened immune system.

Treatment for urinary tract infection

Treatment is done with the use of antibiotics indicated by the doctor, being the most suitable form of treatment. The treatment lasts for 7-10 days, and it is important to take the medicine by the date informed by the doctor, even if the symptoms disappear before then. It is also important to drink more water, because the more urine the body produces, the more easily bacteria are eliminated in the urine. Learn the names of some remedies for urinary tract infection.

Check out more tips in our video below:

How to prevent urinary tract infection

To avoid urinary infection it is advised:

  • Wash the external genital area with soap and water after intercourse;
  • After urinating and defecating, always clean the intimate region from front to back, in order to avoid the arrival of E. Coli bacteria in the vagina, as it is present in the anal and perianal region, being the main cause of urinary infection;
  • Empty the bladder completely every time you urinate, to avoid residual urine that increases the chances of urinary tract infection;
  • Drink more water, drinking at least 1.5 L of clear liquids a day;
  • Maintain a diet rich in fiber to decrease the time that stools stay in the intestine, which decreases the amount of bacteria inside it;
  • Do not use perfume or perfumed cream in the vagina area as this can irritate the skin and increase the risk of urinary tract infection;
  • Keep the vulva area always dry, avoiding wearing very tight clothes and daily absorbent, in order to reduce perspiration in this place.

This advice should be followed daily, especially during pregnancy, when there is a higher risk of urinary tract infection due to hormonal changes and due to increased weight on the bladder, which favors the proliferation of bacteria.

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