Although urinary tract infections (UTIs) can be painful and even scary, they are relatively easy to prevent and treat.
A UTI is an infection of the urinary tract, the system that eliminates urine from the body. This tract includes the bladder, kidneys, and connecting tubes. When germs get into this system, usually by entering the urethra, an infection may result.
UTIs are very common, especially in young, sexually active women. Sexual activity is the cause of 75 to 90 percent of bladder infections for this demographic. During sex, germs may move into the urethra, causing infection. Escherichia coli (E. coli), found in stool, is the main germ that causes UTIs. However, bacteria, viruses, and fungi may also cause infection.
UTIs can be treated with antibiotics. Doctors may also prescribe medication for painful urination. Other remedies, such as drinking cranberry juice and bathing in warm water and baking soda, may help ease symptoms.