A urinary tract infection, or UTI, is an infection that can occur in both men and women. Antibiotics are used to cure a urinary tract infection; however not every antibiotic will work for this purpose. A person taking antibiotics for another type of infection may still develop a urinary tract infection. Antibiotics used to treat a UTI must be taken properly for symptoms to resolve, according to Medline Plus. UTI symptoms that persist after appropriate treatment, or develop while on treatment for another reason, should be medically evaluated.
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The urethra is the tube that drains urine from the bladder to outside the body. A UTI can irritate the urethra and make urination painful, a symptom called dysuria. Someone with a urinary tract infection may experience pain as urine begins to leave the urethra. Dysuria may be more potent at the end of a urine stream. Dysuria may cause a burning or sharp, stabbing sensation with urination.
A person on current antibiotic treatment for a urinary tract infection should notice a decrease or relief of dysuria and other UTI symptoms within three days of treatment, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. If painful urination or additional symptoms persist, the UMM suggests seeking medical care for additional urine testing and treatment, if warranted.
Urine often becomes cloudy with a urinary tract infection and may have a strong odor, according to Family Doctor.org. Visible blood may also be present in the urine, which in some cases causes urine to be dark in color. Women with a UTI may notice blood on the toilet tissue after urination, as well.
Urinary tract infection may cause urinary frequency and urgency. A person with a UTI may notice she needs to urinate often; however, only a small amount of urine is expelled at a time. Urinary urgency gives the sensation of having to urinate right away, even if urination recently occurred. Incontinence, the uncontrollable leakage of urine, may occur during a UTI, as well.
Irritation of the urinary tract and bladder can cause physical pain symptoms. Some people experience low back pain, right above the hips, with an infection. Low abdominal pain may occur along with abdominal pressure or cramps. Pain may radiate into the groin. Men may experience rectal pain in response to a urinary tract infection, as well.
Severe Infection Symptoms
Untreated urinary tract infections, or those which do not respond to initial antibiotic treatment may develop into a kidney infection. The University of Maryland Medical Center warns that kidney infection may lead to kidney damage or scarring. Warning signs of a kidney infection include general symptoms of a urinary tract infection, as well as fever, night-time waking to urinate and nausea and vomiting.