November is Bladder Health Month. It's a time to get the facts, and take an active role in your bladder health. In the second week of this awareness month we're taking a closer look at Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), a condition that will send nearly 11 million people to the doctor each year.
A UTI is when bacteria gets into your urine and travels up to your bladder. Most UTIs are not dangerous and can be treated with medicine. Just as some people are more prone to colds, some people are more prone to UTIs. Women are more likely to have at least one UTI in their lifetime. About 1 in 5 women will get a UTI.
When you have a UTI, the lining of the bladder and urethra become red and irritated. This can cause pain in your belly and pelvic area. It may also make you feel like urinating more often. You may even try to urinate but only get a few drops and/or feel some burning as your urine comes out. At times, you may lose control and wet yourself. You may also find that your urine smells bad or is cloudy.
Likely Signs of UTIs
Pain or burning when you urinate
Pain in your back or side near the ribs
Pressure in your lower belly
Urine that is cloudy, bloody or has a strong odor
Fever or chills
UTIs in Children
As many as 8 in 100 girls, and 2 in 100 boys will get a UTI. Read UTIs in Children for more information on the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. Vesicoureteral Reflux (VUR) is a children's urinary tract disease. VUR is when urine flows backwards from the bladder up the ureters to the kidneys. This urine may carry bacteria from the bladder up to the kidneys and cause a more serious kidney infection (pyelonephritis).
Did You Know?
Swimming pools can be a breeding grounds for germs. This is due to people urinating in the water, not showering before swimming and low levels of chlorine. Ask your local pool staff about how the pool is maintained. You can lower your chances of getting a UTI by changing out of wet bathing suits and sweaty clothes quickly.