Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are common and affect about 5% of all women in the US, as well as a smaller percentage of men and children. While UTI treatments are usually inexpensive, an untreated UTI can lead to more serious medical problems. Here’s what you need to know.
What is a UTI?
A urinary tract infection occurs when part of the urinary system becomes infected. Typically, urine does not contain bacteria because it is a byproduct of the kidneys, which detoxify the body and eliminate bacteria. However, bacteria can make its way into the urinary system from outside the body.
A UTI can affect any part of the urinary system and infections are classified according to the area where they occur.
- Infections in the urethra are called urethritis
- Infections in the kidneys are called pyelonephritis
- Infections in the bladder are called cystitis