Urinary tract infections are extremely common and nothing to feel embarrassed about. Up 60% of women experience a UTI at some point during their lives. But, just because UTIs are common, doesn’t mean you can put off seeing a doctor. Delaying medical attention may lead to kidney and bladder damage and increases the chances of recurring problems.
Most UTIs occur when bacteria that shouldn’t be there find their way into your urinary tract, which consists of your urethra, kidneys, bladder, and ureters. Sexual activity is one of the most common risk factors because it can cause the urethra to become contaminated.
Regardless of the culprit, it’s important to know the symptoms, so we at Boston Urogyn put together this list of five signs of a UTI.
UTIs cause a strong and persistent urge to urinate. You may notice that you need to empty your bladder much more frequently than usual. Bacteria that infect the urinary tract cause irritation that leads to the feeling that you need to empty your bladder. And, women who have UTIs often report feeling the urge to urinate very shortly after having already emptied their bladder.
When you have the urge to urinate, you may also feel like you can’t hold it and must rush to the restroom right away. Keep in mind that there are reasons other than a UTI that can cause frequent urination, like being pregnant.
When assessing symptoms of a UTI, remember three words: strong, persistent, and frequent.
A burning sensation when you urinate could signal a problem such as a sexually transmitted disease, but a UTI is the most common cause of this symptom. When you urinate, you may feel an uncomfortable stinging sensation as you empty your bladder. In reaction to the burning, you may stop midstream before starting again.
The bottom line is that burning sensations during urination are not normal and are a reason to see a healthcare provider. At Boston Urogyn, we specialize in diagnosing and treating UTIs.
Depending on the extent of the infection, you may notice pink, red, or cola-colored urine. This may be a sign that you have a serious infection. Pink or red urine indicates that there is blood in your urine.
When you have a UTI, blood may leak into the urine from your kidneys or other parts of your urinary tract. Along with frequent urination, this symptom points to a UTI that needs attention right away.
For the intense sense of urgency to urinate that UTIs present, many women are surprised to find that when they do urinate, only a small amount comes out. The urgent sensation you feel to urinate is unrelated to the amount of urine in your bladder, but, rather, is a result of the bacterial infection irritating parts of your urinary tract.
Take note if you’re feeling a frequent urge to urinate only to release a small amount of urine.
Sometimes you can sniff out a UTI. Often, your urine has a foul smell when you have a bacterial infection of the urinary tract. For some women with mild infections, strong smelling urine may be the only symptom. Put your nose to the test next time you suspect that you have a UTI and see if you can detect a strong odor.
Don’t ignore the warning signs of a UTI. Visit Dr. Neeraj Kohli and his team at Boston Urogyn for effective treatment. Call our staff to book an appointment or use our convenient online booking form.