When bacteria invade the urine and enter the bladder, it is called a UTI or a urinary tract infection. More than 8 million medical office visits per year are for UTIs. Women are more prone to developing UTIs with about 60% of the female population having at least one bout of UTI in their lifetime. In the male population, the percentage is only 12%.

The urinary tract makes and stores urine, which is designed to carry waste out of the body. The kidneys produce urine as it filters the body’s blood supply. The urine then drains down the ureters into the bladder for storage until the bladder eliminates the urine out through the urethra. The urethra opens at the end of the penis in a male and above the vaginal opening in a female.

When bacteria make their way to the bladder, the lining of the bladder and urethra get irritated and red (similar to a sore throat). The irritation will likely cause the urgent need for frequent urination, but the patient will only be able to pass a few drops of urine. Pain will develop in the lower abdominal/pelvic region, as well as pain and burning with urination, which is the most common symptom of a UTI.

Urinary tract infections need to be treated as soon as possible, or they will become more serious. At the first signs of a UTI, you should see the doctors at Magic Valley Urology for positive identification and antibiotics.