- Bladder, also called cystitis
- Kidneys, also called pyelonephritis
- Urethra – the tube that empties urine from the bladder to the outside
- Lower UTI – this is generally considered to be infection of the bladder (cystitis).
- Upper UTI – this includes pyelitis and pyelonephritis.
- Recurrent UTI – this may be due to relapse or re-infection.The number of recurrences regarded as clinically significant depends on age and sex.
- Uncomplicated UTI – this refers to infection of the urinary tract by a usual pathogen in a person with a normal urinary tract and with normal kidney function.
- Complicated UTI – this occurs where anatomical, functional, or pharmacological factors predispose the person to persistent infection, recurrent infection or treatment failure – eg, abnormal urinary tract.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can occur when bacteria get into the bladder or the kidneys. These bacteria are common on the skin around the anus. They can also be present near the vagina. Sometimes bacteria can also spread
from another part of the body through the bloodstream to the urinary tract. The cause of UTI is not always known. Infections
can also occur in the ureters or kidneys. (The ureters are the tubes that drain urine from the kidneys to the bladder.)
Normally, there are no bacteria in the urinary tract. However, some things make it easier for bacteria to enter or stay in the urinary tract. These include:
- A problem in the urinary tract, called vesicoureteral reflux. This condition that is most often at birth allows urine to flow back up into the ureters and kidneys.
- Brain or nervous system illnesses (such as myelomeningocele, spinal cord injury, hydrocephalus) that make it harder to empty the bladder
- Bubble baths or tight-fitting clothes (girls)
- Changes or birth defects in the structure of the urinary tract
- Not urinating often enough during the day
- Wiping from back (near the anus) to front after going to the bathroom. In girls, this can bring bacteria to the opening where the urine comes out.
In Women who
- are past menopause
- are pregnant
- have a history of diabetes, sickle-cell anemia, stroke, kidney stones, or any illness that causes the bladder to be
- paralyzed or to fail to empty completely.
Urinary tract infection is more common in women because the urethra is short, making it easy for bacteria to spread.
The symptoms of UTI may include:
- pain or discomfort (burning) when you urinate
- pain in the lower pelvis, stomach, lower back, or side
- shaking chills
- nausea and vomiting
- frequent need to urinate
- leaking of urine (incontinence)
- strong-smelling urine
- change in amount of urine, either more or less
- blood or pus in the urine
- pain during sexual intercourse
Symptoms of a bladder infection in children include:
- Blood in the urine
- Cloudy urine
- Foul or strong urine odor
- Frequent or urgent need to urinate
- General ill feeling (malaise)
- Pain or burning with urination
- Pressure or pain in the lower pelvis or lower back
- Wetting problems after the child has been toilet trained
Symptoms that the infection may have spread to the kidneys include:
- Chills with shaking
- Flushed, warm, or reddened skin
- Pain in the side (flank) or back
- Severe pain in the belly area
In infants and toddlers, frequent diaper changes can help prevent the spread of bacteria that cause UTIs. When kids begin self-care, it’s important to teach them good hygiene. After every bowel movement, girls should remember to wipe from front to rear — not rear to front — to prevent germs from spreading from the rectum to the urethra.
All kids should be taught not to “hold it” when they have to go because urine that remains in the bladder gives bacteria a good place to grow.
School-age girls should avoid bubble baths and strong soaps that might cause irritation, and they should wear cotton underwear instead of nylon because it’s less likely to encourage bacterial growth. Other ways to decrease the risk of UTIs include drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding caffeine, which can irritate the bladder.
Any kids diagnosed with VUR should follow their doctor’s treatment plan to prevent recurrent UTIs.