A urinary tract infection is an infection of the urinary tract. An infection anywhere from the kidneys to the ureters to the bladder to the urethra qualifies as a urinary tract infection.
In females, the urethra is much shorter and closer to the anus than in males. This is the reason women are more prone than men to UTIs. See health guidelines at Vulvovaginal health for some tips on preventing.
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection include dysuria (pain on passing urine), frequency (of passing urine) and hematuria (blood in the urine). Other helpful signs include cloudy or smelly urine. A dipstick test is often useful in the diagnosis.
While empirical treatment with antibiotics will cure most urinary tract infections, sometimes a urine culture may be necessary to identify the causative organism and its sensitivity to antibiotics.
Patients with recurrent UTIs may need further investigation.