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Urinary Tract Infection In Women, Ambulatory Care

A urinary tract infection (UTI)

is caused by bacteria that get inside your urinary tract. Most bacteria that enter your urinary tract are expelled when you urinate. If the bacteria stay in your urinary tract, you may get an infection. Your urinary tract includes your kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Urine is made in your kidneys, and it flows from the ureters to the bladder. Urine leaves the bladder through the urethra. A UTI is more common in your lower urinary tract, which includes your bladder and urethra.


Common symptoms include the following:

  • Urinating more often or waking from sleep to urinate
  • Pain or burning when you urinate
  • Pain or pressure in your lower abdomen
  • Urine that smells bad
  • Blood in your urine
  • Leaking urine

Seek immediate care for the following symptoms:

  • Urinating very little or not at all
  • Vomiting
  • Shaking chills with a fever
  • Side or back pain that gets worse

Treatment for a UTI

may include medicines to treat a bacterial infection. You may also need medicines to decrease pain and burning, or decrease the urge to urinate often.

Prevent a UTI:

  • Urinate when you feel the urge. Do not hold your urine. Urinate as soon as you feel you have to.
  • Drink liquids as directed. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. You may need to drink more fluids than usual to help flush out the bacteria. Do not drink alcohol, caffeine, and citrus juices. These can irritate your bladder and increase your symptoms.
  • Apply heat on your abdomen for 20 to 30 minutes every 2 hours for as many days as directed. Heat helps decrease discomfort and pressure in your bladder.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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