Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a serious health problem. They are also very common, affecting millions of people each year. In most cases, they are caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria.
Though not everyone with a UTI has symptoms, most people do. Common ones include:
- A frequent urge to urinate
- A painful, burning feeling in the area of the bladder or urethra during urination
- Feeling bad all over -- tired, shaky, washed out -- even when not urinating
- An uncomfortable pressure above the pubic bone (in women).
Some of the factors that increase your risk of getting a UTI include:
- Gender (women are more likely than men to have a UTI)
- Sexual intercourse
- Urinary tract problems, such as an enlarged prostate or kidney stones
- Habitually waiting too long to pass urine.
(To learn about how UTIs are treated and how you can reduce your risk of developing one, click UTI.)