Urinary Tract Infections

It is not uncommon for adults to develop urinary tract infections (泌尿道感染s). These infections, which can affect any part of the urinary tract from the urethra to the kidneys, occur most often in women and are usually treated with antibiotics.

泌尿道感染s occur when bacteria, such as E. coli, build up in the bladder. 通常, bacteria that enter the urinary tract are expelled with urine, but when urine isn't emptied properly, those bacteria can multiply, leading to infection and 泌尿道感染 pain.

The board-certified primary care providers (PCPs) at Beaufort Memorial can diagnose and treat 泌尿道感染s. Find a primary care provider accepting new patients.


泌尿道感染 Causes in Men and Women

泌尿道感染s can affect men and women of any age, but women are at higher risk.

That's because it's easier for bacteria to enter a woman's urethra due to its proximity to the rectum, where many bacteria live. A woman's urethra is shorter than a man's, so once bacteria are inside, they don't have far to go to reach the bladder. Women are also more likely to get a 泌尿道感染 if they are pregnant, have gone through menopause, or use diaphragms or spermicide for birth control. 泌尿道感染s in men can develop as the result of an enlarged prostate.

The following risk factors can affect both men and women:

  • A problem that hampers urine flow, such as a kidney stone
  • Age (older adults and toddlers are at greater risk)
  • Difficulty emptying the bladder
  • Having had a 泌尿道感染 before
  • Medical conditions that weaken the immune system, such as diabetes
  • Sexual intercourse


Most people with a 泌尿道感染 experience pain or burning during urination, but several other symptoms are possible, 包括:

  • Cloudy, bloody or foul-smelling urine
  • Frequent urges to urinate
  • Lower back or pelvic pain
  • Urinary incontinence

A kidney infection is more serious than a bladder infection. A kidney infection may cause fever, chills, nausea, vomiting and/or pain in the upper back.


A physician can diagnose a 泌尿道感染 by looking for bacteria in a urine sample. A urine culture may be necessary to determine what type of bacteria is causing the infection. In rare cases, a CT scan or ultrasound may be necessary.

Antibiotics are the standard treatment for most 泌尿道感染s. A three-day course is enough to treat most infections, but some may require a longer course. It's important to take antibiotics as directed and finish the entire course. Drink plenty of water to help the infection clear.

泌尿道感染 Prevention

Some simple steps can help prevent 泌尿道感染s:

  • Drink plenty of water and use the bathroom regularly.
  • Take showers, not baths.
  • Urinate after having sex.
  • Wear underwear made of cotton or other breathable materials.
  • Wipe from front to back.