Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) in Adults FAQs
Reviewed by Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
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Q:How much urine does the average adult pass each day?
A:The average adult passes 1.5 quarts of urine each day. The amount of urine varies, depending on the fluids and foods a person consumes. The volume formed at night is about half that formed in the daytime.
Q:What is the most common cause of a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
A:Escherichia coli (E. coli) is the most common cause of a urinary tract infection. (E. coli), which normally lives in the colon. Microorganisms called Chlamydia and Mycoplasma may also cause UTIs in both men and women, but these infections tend to remain limited to the urethra and reproductive system.
Q:What is a common UTI risk factor in adults?
A:Enlarged prostate, catheter usage, and diabetes are common causes of UTIs in adults. An enlarged prostate gland also can slow the flow of urine, thus raising the risk of infection. A common source of infection is catheters, or tubes, placed in the urethra and bladder. People with diabetes also have a higher risk of a UTI because of changes in the immune system.
Q:What are signs and symptoms of a UTI in adults?
A:Signs and symptoms of UTIs in adults can include the frequent urge to urinate, pain during urination and milky/cloudy urine. Not everyone with a UTI has symptoms, but most people get at least some symptoms. These may include a frequent urge to urinate and a painful, burning feeling in the area of the bladder or urethra during urination. The urine itself may look milky or cloudy, even reddish if blood is present.
Q:How many people in the U.S. visit the doctor each year to be treated for a UTI?
A:8.3 million people in the U.S. visit the doctor each year to be treated for a UTI. Infections of the urinary tract are the second most common type of infection in the body. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) account for about 8.3 million doctor visits each year.
Q:To prevent urinary tract infections, some doctors recommend that people drink which liquid?
A:To prevent urinary tract infections, some doctors recommend that people drink cranberry juice. Cranberry has been used for preventing bladder infections (urinary tract infections, or UTI), as well as in combination with antibiotics for treating acute bladder infections.
Q:On average, what percentage of pregnant women develops UTIs?
A:2%-4% of pregnant women develops UTIs. Scientists think that hormonal changes and shifts in the position of the urinary tract during pregnancy make it easier for bacteria to travel up the ureters to the kidneys.
Q:Which antibiotics are used in the treatment of uncomplicated UTIs?
A:Antibiotics that are used in the treatment of uncomplicated UTIs are: trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra, Cotrim), amoxicillin (Amoxil, Trimox, Wymox) and ampicillin (Omnipen, Polycillin, Principen, Totacillin). The drugs most often used to treat routine, uncomplicated UTIs are trimethoprim (Trimpex), trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra, Cotrim), amoxicillin (Amoxil, Trimox, Wymox), nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin, Furadantin), and ampicillin (Omnipen, Polycillin, Principen, Totacillin).
Q:How can women prevent urinary tract infections?
A:Women can prevent urinary tract infection in a number of ways, including not resisting the urge to urinate. Doctors also suggest wiping from front to back to prevent bacteria around the anus from entering the vagina or urethra; and avoiding using feminine hygiene sprays and scented douches, which may irritate the urethra.
Q:A pregnant woman who develops a UTI needs prompt treatment to avoid what?
A:A pregnant woman who develops a UTI needs prompt treatment to avoid premature delivery of her baby and high blood pressure.
Q:Erectile dysfunction is a common cause of UTIs in men. True or False?
A:Erectile dysfunction is not a common cause of UTIs in men. UTIs in men are often a result of an obstruction -- for example, due to a urinary stone or enlarged prostate -- or are associated with a medical procedure involving a catheter.
Q:What may provide some relief from UTI pain?
A:A heating pad and drinking plenty of water may provide relied from UTI pain. A heating pad may help relieve the discomfort of a urinary infection. Most doctors suggest that drinking plenty of water helps cleanse the urinary tract of bacteria.
Q:What percentage of women who have a UTI will have another?
A:20% of women who have a UTI will have another. Many women suffer from frequent UTIs. Of this number, 30 percent of those will have yet another. Of the last group, 80 percent will have recurrences.
Q:What comprises the urinary system?
A: The urinary system is made up of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra.
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