Patient: Hi, 2 weeks ago I had sex with a new partner. I do have vaginal cysts that can get irritated. The next day, I had the urge to pee every couple of minutes, and it did burn when urinating. It is still a bit painful to urinate, I can’t sleep through the night without waking up and using the bathroom, my urine is a bit cloudy, and it does itch down there. What could this be?
Doctor: As you may have already guessed, and rightly, urinary infection may be the cause of your problems. The urinary system is the body’s drainage system for removing wastes and extra water. It includes two kidneys, two ureters, a bladder, and a urethra. The kidneys filter the blood and remove waste and extra water which becomes a component of urine. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the second most common type of infection in the body. Urine passes from the kidneys through the ureters and is then stored in the bladder until it is ready to be passed through the urethra. The opening of the urethra is the end of the penis in males and at the front of the vagina in females.The urinary tract can be divided into the upper urinary tract and the lower urinary tract. The upper urinary tract consists of the kidneys and the ureters, and the lower urinary tract consists of the bladder and the urethra. Urinary tract infections are caused by microbes such as bacteria overcoming the body’s defenses in the urinary tract. Urinary tract infections can have different names referring to the different parts of the urinary tract:Bladder infection = CystitisUrethra infection = UrethritisKidney infection = Pyelonephritis.The ureters are very rarely the site of infection.You may have a UTI if you noticePain or burning when you urinateFever, tiredness or shakinessAn urge to urinate oftenPressure in your lower bellyUrine that smells bad or looks cloudy or reddishPain in your back or side below the ribsPeople of any age or sex can get UTIs. But about four times as many women get UTIs as men. You’re also at higher risk if you have diabetes, need a tube to drain your bladder, or have a spinal cord injury.If you think you have a UTI it is important to see your doctor. Your doctor can tell if you have a UTI with a urine test. Treatment is with antibiotics. The itching may be caused by a fungal infection that is treatable.