Health Services

Urinary Tract Infection

What is a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
A urinary tract infection is caused by an invasion of bacteria in the urethra and bladder, usually from the rectum or genital area including the vagina.

What are the symptoms of UTI?
The symptoms may include: 

  • strong urge to urinate
  • burning or discomfort with urinating
  • sensation of incomplete voiding
  • lower abdominal pain or discomfort
  • fever
  • cloudy urine
  • urine with a strong odor

How can I prevent a UTI?
The preventive measures include:

  1. Drink 8 glasses or more of fluids a day to dilute and flush out bacteria.
  2. Urinate often. Waiting too long can cause bacteria to multiply.
  3. Practice careful hygiene. Always wipe front to back.
  4. Empty bladder before and after intercourse.
  5. Wear cotton underwear. Cotton breathes and allows air to circulate.
  6. Take Vitamin C. This acidifies the urine making it more difficult for bacteria to grow.

What is the treatment for a UTI?
If a laboratory inspection of the urine shows evidence of infection, the health care provider will prescribe a medication. Even though the symptoms may soon disappear, it is very important to take the entire course of medication.

Return to Health Services for a follow-up urinalysis 48 hours after completing the prescribed medicine.

If symptoms do not improve while taking the prescribed medication, contact Health Services.