Unlike so many medical issues, a urinary tract infection is not a subtle matter than can linger undetected for a significant period of time. A UTI will announce its presence loud and clear, most often with a signature burning sensation during urination. Some patients also report an unusually intense urge to urinate, and on a more frequent-than-normal schedule. Feeling exhausted and shaky during normal activities can also be a sign of UTI. Unusually dark or cloudy urine is another cause for concern, as is urine that has a distinctive odor that is out of the norm.
Urinary tract infections are caused by the introduction of bacteria into the urethra. Contamination can occur when bacteria from the anus is brought forward to the entrance of the urethra, which is why women are advised to clean themselves from front to back. Sexual intercourse can also bring on a UTI. Women experience these types of infections more frequently than men due to the fact that the female urethra is shorter in length than that of a male. The best means of preventing a urinary tract infection is to maintain optimal hygiene habits in the bathroom and after intercourse.
Urinary tract infections, while unpleasant, are easily addressed with a course of antibiotics. More important, however, is that a patient receives a proper diagnosis of a UTI. The signs and symptoms of UTI mimic those of far more serious conditions, which is why seeking medical care is always a good idea when a patient suspects that he or she has a urinary tract infection. If the practitioner feels that the condition might be something more serious, a sexually transmitted disease screening may be ordered. As is so often the case, being fully informed is the best way to make good health decisions.