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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

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A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that affects the urinary tract. A lower urinary tract infection is known as a bladder infection, an upper urinary tract infection is known as a kidney infection. A bladder infection will affect the urethra and the bladder, a kidney infection will affect the ureters and kidneys. A UTI happens when bacteria enters and infects the urinary system. The most common type of UTI is a bladder infection, which is also known as cystitis.
  • Symptoms
  • Transmission
  • Prevention
  • Resources

Symptoms of a UTI include:

  • Burning pain with urination (the strongest indication of a UTI)
  • Pain or cramping in the lower abdomen or back
  • An increase in the frequency of urination
  • Cloudy or bloody urine
  • Fever in addition to these symptoms

If any of the above symptoms are present, see a health care professional to properly assess the medical condition. Bacteria may be present in the urine but may not cause any symptoms or infections in the urinary tract, and foul smelling urine, loss of balance and falling down are not symptoms of a UTI, but may prompt a health care provider to request a urine culture.

Some people have a higher risk of getting a UTI. Females are at a higher risk compared to males. There are many risk factors in developing a UTI. Among them are sexual activity, use of a spermicide, menopause, pregnancy, age, reduced mobility, prostate enlargement, or kidney stones. Using a urinary catheter can also cause a UTI. More information on Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI) can be found on the DOH CAUTI webpage.

It is important to drink plenty of water and to empty the bladder completely when urinating. Good personal hygiene habits can also help prevent UTIs. Among these are: taking showers instead of baths, urinating before and after sexual activity, and minimize douching and sprays or powders in the genital area.  When potty training girls, teach to wipe from the front to the back.

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