• infections that can affect the bladder, the kidneys and the tubes connected to them
  • they’re particularly common in women


Lower UTIs are infections of the urethra and bladder. Their symptoms include:

  1. burning with urination
  2. increased frequency of urination with scant amounts of urine being passed
  3. bloody urine
  4. cloudy urine
  5. urine that looks like cola or tea
  6. strong odor to urine
  7. pelvic pain (women)
  8. rectal pain (men)

Upper UTIs are infections of the kidneys. Symptoms of upper UTI include:

  1. pain and tenderness in the upper back and sides
  2. chills
  3. fever
  4. nausea
  5. vomiting


  1. conditions that obstruct your urinary tract, such as kidney stones
  2. difficulty emptying your bladder fully
  3. using a contraceptive diaphragm or condoms coated in spermicide
  4. diabetes
  5. a weak immune system – from chemotherapy or HIV, for example
  6. a urinary catheter (a tube in your bladder used to drain urine)
  7. an enlarged prostate gland in men
  8. Infection of the bladder (cystitis).usually caused by Escherichia coli
  9. Infection of the urethra (urethritis)

Risk factors

  • spermicides
  • Sexually active women
  • gender,immune system
  • condoms
  • diapragm
  • bathroom hygiene
  • diabetes
  • loss of estrogen
  • prolonged use of catheters

Diagnostic Tests

  • ultrasound
  • intravenous pyelogram (IVP) – this injected dye allows doctors to see your entire urinary tract
  • cystoscopy, which uses a small camera to examine the bladder
  • urine test
  • lab tests


  • Low dose antibiotics, initially for six months but sometimes longer
  • A single dose of antibiotic after sexual intercourse if your infections are related to sexual activity
  • Vaginal estrogen therapy if you’re postmenopausal


  • Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra, others)
  • Fosfomycin (Monurol)
  • Nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin, Macrobid)
  • Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
  • Levofloxacin (Levaquin)
  • Cephalexin (Keflex)
  • Ceftriaxone (Rocephin)
  • Azithromycin (Zithromax, Zmax)
  • Doxycycline (Monodox, Vibramycin, others)


  • wiping from front to back after urinating or having a bowel movement
  • drinking six to eight glasses of water daily
  • drinking water after having sex
  • not holding urine for long periods of time
  • cleaning your vaginal and rectal areas daily
  • taking showers instead of baths
  • wearing comfortable underwear, tight fabric traps moisture
  • wearing underpants with a cotton crotch