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What is a UTI?

A UTI, or a urinary tract infection, is an infection found in any part of the urinary system. This includes: kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. The majority of urinary tract infections are located in the bladder or urethra. About 50-60% of people with vaginas will develop a UTI in their lifetime.

Types of UTIs

The type of UTI one has is dependent on where the infection is located. An infection in the kidneys is known as acute pyelonephritis. One in the urethra is urethritis and an infection in the bladder is known as cystitis.

Why do I need to learn about UTIs?

While most UTIs are more painful and annoying than they are harmful, if left untreated, a UTI can spread to kidneys, permanently damaging them. An untreated UTI can also lead to sepsis, a potentially life threatening condition, severity increases if the infection reaches the kidneys.

What are the symptoms?

The general symptoms of a UTI include:

Symptoms of acute pyelonephritis (kidneys)

Symptoms of urethritis (urethra)

Symptoms of cystitis (bladder)

Who is at risk?

Folks with flaps have a greater chance of developing a UTI than a penis person (people with vaginas get UTIs 30x more often than people with penises). The urethra of a pussy person is shorter than that of a dong, decreasing the distance bacteria must travel to get to the bladder.

Sexual activity can increase your risk for a UTI, especially in people with vaginas. People with vaginas who are sexually active have been found to develop more UTIs than those who are not.

Other risk factors include:

How are they treated?

UTIs are treated with antibiotics for which you can get a prescription from your doctor. Once on antibiotics, a UTI will generally go away within 24-48 hours. Some home remedies for UTIs include: drinking cranberry juice, use of cranberry pills, increasing vitamin C intake, and increasing hydration (it is recommended you see a doctor). If you have a UTI or think you have a UTI, go see your doctor.

Sources: Mayoclinic, Healthline WebMD