What are 3 Symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) ?

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are one of the most common health issues faced by people of all ages. While the condition is usually treatable and not severe, it is important to be aware of the symptoms so you can seek treatment if necessary. Here are 3 key symptoms of a UTI:

1. Frequent urination

If you notice that you are having to go to the toilet to urinate more often than usual, this can be a sign of a UTI. This is due to the irritation and inflammation of your bladder or urethra causing you to need to go more often.

2. Burning sensation while urinating

When you have a UTI, it can cause a burning or stinging feeling while you urinate. This can be a symptom of a UTI and should not be ignored.

3. Urine that appears cloudy or bloody

As with any infection, bacteria can cause your urine to be cloudy or have a reddish or pinkish tint due to the presence of blood. This is often a sign of a more severe UTI and should be seen to by a medical professional as soon as possible.

Recognising Additional Symptoms

While frequent urination, burning during urination, and cloudy/bloody urine are the most common UTI symptoms, there are some other potential signs you’ll want to watch for. Keeping an eye out for these can help you catch a UTI early before it potentially spreads to your kidneys.

Lower Abdominal Pain or Cramps

Many people with a UTI experience pelvic or lower abdominal pain or cramping. This aching feeling stems from the bladder’s inflammation as it tries to flush out the bacterial infection. The pain may worsen as your bladder fills up and ease some after urinating.

Back or Flank Pain

Similar to the abdominal cramping, some UTIs also cause pain in the back, specifically along the lower sides (flanks). This can signal that the infection has potentially spread to the kidneys, which is more serious. Seek prompt treatment if experiencing back/flank pain along with other UTI symptoms.

Foul-Smelling or Odd-Coloured Urine

In addition to appearing cloudy or containing blood, urine from a UTI may also have an unusual or strong foul odor. Some describe it as smelling rotten or similar to strong ammonia. The urine might also appear pinkish, bright pink, reddish, or cola-colored depending on the degree of blood present.

Fatigue and Body Aches

Many people with a urinary tract infection experience fatigue, feeling more tired and run down than usual with potential mild body aches. This results from your body’s immune system kicking into high gear to fight off the bacterial infection.

Fever and Chills

Fevers and chills are not as common with a basic bladder infection (cystitis). However, if the UTI spreads to the kidneys (pyelonephritis), fevers, shaking chills, nausea, and vomiting can occur as signs of an acute kidney infection.

When to See a Doctor

While inconvenient, most uncomplicated UTIs can be treated easily with a course of antibiotics. However, there are some cases where you should seek medical attention promptly:

  • Severe back pain or pain radiating to the groin
  • High fever (over 101°F or 38.3°C) with shaking chills
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Symptoms not improving within 2-3 days of starting antibiotics

These cases could indicate a potentially serious kidney infection requiring further treatment. Pregnant women and individuals with diabetes or a suppressed immune system should also see their doctor at the first signs of a UTI.

UTI Urinary Tract Infection Test

How to test at home for a Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most common medical conditions. They can affect both men and women, but are more common in females. In order to diagnose a UTI, it is important to perform a urine test. Urine tests may reveal the presence of leukocytes, nitrites, and blood in the urine, which are all indicators of a UTI. Click here to find out more about our recommended Zoom Health UTI Test Kit for home use.

What does the test look for?

Leukocytes, or white blood cells, are typically found in the blood and are an important part of the body’s immune system. In a UTI, leukocytes can be found in the urine, which is an indication that the body is fighting off an infection.

The presence of nitrites in the urine is also a sign of a UTI. Nitrites are produced when bacteria in the urine are converted into nitrogen gas. This is an indication that the body’s natural defences are trying to fight off the infection.

The presence of blood in the urine is not a common indicator of UTI, but it can show up in more serious cases. This can be an indication of damage to the urethra or bladder, and should be checked out by a doctor.

A UTI urine test is an essential part of diagnosing a UTI. It can detect leukocytes, nitrites, and blood in the urine, which can all be indicators of infection. It is important to consult a doctor when symptoms of a UTI are present and to get tested for any of the above mentioned indicators. By doing so, effective treatment can be started and the infection can be successfully treated.

Photo “Toilet” by Anthony Cunningham for Zoom Health

Zoom Health is a leading UK supplier of Home Health Tests and Earplugs

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