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Bladder Infection (Urinary Tract Infection—UTI) in Adults

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Definition & Facts

Bladder infections are the most common type of urinary tract infection (UTI), but any part of your urinary tract can become infected—the urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidneys. Your age, habits, or health conditions can make a UTI more likely.

Symptoms & Causes

Symptoms of a bladder infection may include a burning feeling when you urinate. Most infections in women are caused by bacteria from the bowel that reach the urethra and bladder. Most infections in men are the result of problems that restrict normal urine flow, such as an enlarged prostate.

Diagnosis

Health care professionals use your medical history, a physical exam, and tests to diagnose a bladder infection. If you have repeat infections, your doctor may order additional tests to find the cause of your infection.

Treatment

Treatments for bladder infections and other UTIs may include antibiotics and drinking lots of liquids to help flush bacteria from your urinary tract. Changes in habits, hygiene, or birth control method may help prevent another infection.

Eating, Diet, & Nutrition

Experts don’t think eating, diet, and nutrition play a role in preventing or treating bladder infections. If you have any type of UTI, talk with a health care professional about how much to drink each day to help prevent or relieve your infection.

Clinical Trials

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conduct and support research into many diseases and conditions.

The Urinary Tract & How it Works

The urinary tract is the body’s drainage system for removing urine, which is composed of wastes and extra fluid. In order for normal urination to occur, all body parts in the urinary tract need to work together in the correct order.

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This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings through its clearinghouses and education programs to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.

The NIDDK would like to thank:
Ann E. Stapleton, MD, FIDSA, FACP, University of Washington School of Medicine