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UTI in Women: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Experiencing discomfort while urinating is a sign that you might suffer from UTI. Readout extensive information about UTI.

5 min read
UTI in Women: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

UTI is an infection in any organ of the urinary system, which can include the bladder, kidneys, urethra, and ureters. Urinary tract infection (UTI) usually happens when there is a pool of urine in the bladder. It becomes the perfect spot for bacteria to grow.

Our kidneys filter extra water and toxins out of the blood in the form of urine. The ureters pass urine to the bladder. Through the urethra, the urine gets excreted.

Pooling may occur due to a restricted urinary flow, and it often happens in the lower urinary tract, i.e., the urethra and the bladder.

UTI in women is more common. As per a study by NCBI, there is a higher chance for women to get a urinary tract infection than anyone else. Furthermore, it is more common among the elderly ones.

What is Urinary Tract Infection in Women?

Scientifically, women are more prone to UTI because they have a shorter urethra, which gives bacteria a higher chance to reach the bladder and cause infection. In many cases, women experience repeated incidents of UTI.

Frequent UTI in women can be a sign of some underlying condition. However, UTIs are treatable and not something to be scared of.

UTIs have distinct names depending on the part where they exist. For instance:

  • Cystitis is a bladder infection.
  • Urethritis is a urethra infection.
  • Pyelonephritis is a kidney infection.
  • It is rare to find infection in the ureters.

What are the Symptoms of Urine Infection in Women?

When women suffer from Urinary Tract Infection, the lining of the bladder and urethra turn red. The feeling of irritation in the urinary system is similar to throat irritation during a cold.

Following are some urine infection symptoms in women:

  • An intense feel to urinate
  • A feeling of burning sensation while urinating
  • Frequent discharge of small amounts of urine
  • A cloudy urine
  • The dark-coloured urine, like red, radiant pink, or cola, or even an indication of blood in the urine
  • Pungent-smelling urine
  • Pelvic pain, especially, in the pelvis's centre or near the pubic bone

Sometimes, people overlook UTI in elderly women. The following are the signs and symptoms of UTI in women along with their types for your reference.

The sign and symptoms of Kidneys (acute pyelonephritis) are:

  • Upper back and side (flank) pain
  • High fever
  • Shaking and chills
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

The sign and symptoms of Bladder (cystitis) infection are:

  • Pelvic pressure
  • Lower abdomen discomfort
  • Frequent, painful urination
  • Blood in urine

The sign and symptoms of Urethra (urethritis) infection are:

  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Discharge

What Causes UTI in Women?

The structure of women's urinary system is such that it keeps out bacterias, yet, sometimes, the protection fails. In such scenarios, bacteria may enter and cultivate into a full-blown infection in the urinary tract. The primary reason for a UTI is the bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli). Generally, this bacteria is present in the colon.

The following are the causes of urinary tract infection in women:

  • Sexual intercourse, especially if it is frequent, harsh, and with many or new companions
  • Diabetes causes urine infection symptoms in women
  • Low personal hygiene causes urine infection symptoms in women
  • Issues in discharging the bladder causes urine infection symptoms in women
  • A urinary catheter can cause urine infection symptoms in women
  • Loss of bladder control causes urine infection symptoms in women
  • Obstructed urine flow causes urine infection symptoms in women
  • Stones in kidney cause urine infection symptoms in women
  • Pregnancy causes urine infection symptoms in women
  • Menopause too causes urine infection symptoms in women

UTI Treatment for Women

The first-line of UTI treatment for women is antibiotics. There are antibiotics for women's bladder infection that women with UTI may have to take in small doses for the long-term to deter recurrence.

There are also numerous natural ways for UTI treatment for women at home to avoid infections and lessen the recurrence's risk.

UTI Medicine for Women

The prescription of drugs depends on an individual's health condition as well as the type of bacteria present in urine. The below-mentioned are some UTI medicine for women according to the severity of UTI:

For the simple UTI, the following are some best antibiotics for UTI in women:

  • Cephalexin (Keflex) for UTI treatment for women
  • Ceftriaxone for UTI treatment for women
  • Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra, others) for UTI treatment for women
  • Nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin, Macrobid) for UTI treatment for women
  • Fosfomycin (Monurol) for UTI treatment for women

*Do not consume any medicine without doctor’s approval

For frequent UTIs, the doctor may recommend the following treatments:

  • Low-dose antibiotics for a longer duration
  • Self-diagnosis and treatment suggested by the doctor
  • A single antibiotic dose after sexual interaction if you get infections after sexual activity
  • For postmenopausal, vaginal estrogen therapy

For severe UTIs, a patient may need treatment in a hospital with intravenous antibiotics.

How to Prevent UTI in Women

Preventing UTI in women involves adopting a healthy life. The following preventive measures in the same as UTI diets can reduce the risk of UTI in women:

  • In-take plenty of fluids, especially water, to flush out bacteria. Cranberry juice can be effective
  • Clean from front to back after urinating
  • Empty the bladder after sexual intercourse
  • Avoid usage of harsh feminine products in the genital area since they can irritate the urethra
  • Switch to other birth control methods


A UTI can affect any urinary system part. Mostly infection targets the urethra and bladder. Usually, females have more chances to get these infections. The severe UTI symptoms in women are; continuous and extreme desire to pee, feeling a burning sensation while discharging the urine, urinating often, cloudy urine, and many others. There are different types of UTIs, and treatment is according to the specific type.

It is also beneficial to take preventive measures to avoid any type of UTI. If you have noticed any of the symptoms, it is best to consult a doctor for proper treatment.


Can a UTI go away on its own?
Antibiotics for UTI are effective; however, our body also often resolves uncomplicated UTIs on its own.

How do they test you for a UTI?

The following are common laboratory tests for UTIs:

  • Urinalysis
  • Urine culture
  • Susceptibility testing








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