Lower Urinary Tract Infection

What is Lower Urinary Tract Infection?

A lower urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that occurs in the bladder, urethra, or ureters. The infection is caused by bacteria that enter the body through the urethra. The most common symptom of a UTI is a burning sensation or pain in the low abdomen or pelvis. Other possible symptoms of a lower UTI include frequent urination, urgency to urinate, pain or burning during urination, cloudy or dark-colored urine, and an offensive odor.

Causes of Lower Urinary Tract Infection

Most lower urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria that enter the urethra and bladder. Common causes include wiping from back to front after using the toilet, poor hygiene, wearing tight-fitting clothing, irritation from certain soaps or bubble baths, and sexual intercourse.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Lower Urinary Tract Infection

If you experience any of the symptoms of a lower UTI, it is important to contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment. Your doctor will conduct a physical exam and ask questions about your symptoms. They may also perform a urinalysis or urine culture to confirm the presence of a UTI.

The most commonly prescribed treatment for a lower UTI is a course of antibiotics. It is important to finish all of the antibiotics, even if you start to feel better before the full course is complete. To ease discomfort while taking antibiotics, you can take over-the-counter pain medication.

Preventing Lower UTIs

The best way to prevent lower UTIs is to practice good hygiene. Here are some tips to help you reduce your risk:

  • Wipe from front to back after using the toilet.
  • Keep the area around your genitals clean and dry.
  • Wash your hands before and after sexual intercourse.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to help flush bacteria from your urinary tract.
  • Urinate after sexual intercourse.
  • Avoid scented soaps or bubble baths.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing.