Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

FAQs

What Are Symptoms Of UTIs?

  • Pain or burning while urinating (dysuria)
  • Urgent need to urinate frequently (urinary urgency)
  • Feeling the need to urinate even though the bladder is empty
  • Cloudy, bloody, or strange smelling urine
  • Pelvic pain

More serious symptoms (which might indicate infection has moved to the kidneys)

  • Severe back pain
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Shaking and chills
  • Fever

What Are the Causes of UTIs?

Everything from bicycling to wearing sexy underwear (thongs) gets blamed for UTIs! [10]  Most UTIs are caused by organisms that are fine elsewhere (such as in the vagina or the rectum) wrongly getting into the urethra and bladder. Although viruses and fungi can cause UTIs, the most common cause is that bacteria (E.coli) found in the stools in the rectum get into the urinary tract. [11]  Up to 95% of UTIs are cause by E. coli bacteria.[12]  [13]

Additional Information:

Most cis and trans women know what UTIs are because they are so common and can be extremely uncomfortable and irritating in both how they feel and how they interfere with a woman’s life. UTIs are so common for girls and women throughout their lives that women can find themselves simultaneously making decisions about the best ways to identify and handle UTIs for themselves, for their children or grandchildren, and as caregivers for older loved ones.

  • Nearly 1 in 3 women have a clinically significant UTI by the age of 24.[1] [2]
  • Almost half of women will experience a UTI in their lifetimes.[3] [4] [5]
  • Recurrent UTIs (rUTIs) = having more than 2 infections in a 6 month period, or 3 infections over 12 months with complete resolution for at least 2 weeks.[6] Almost half of women who get one UTI experience a recurrence within 6-12 months.[7]
  • In the USA, UTIs account for more than 8-10 million office visits, 1-3 million emergency department visits, and 100,000 hospitalizations each year. [8] [9]

Definitions

Bacteriuria: presence of bacteria in urine. Bacteriuria without symptoms (asymptomatic bacteriuria) is no longer considered appropriate to diagnose a UTI

The most common UTIs:

  • Cystitis: an infection of the bladder (the organ that collects and stores urine)
  • Urethritis: an infection of the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body/to the urinary opening)
  • Nephritis: an inflammation of the kidneys, usually due to bacterial infection (also called pyelonephritis)

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