Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

  • Medical Author:
    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

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Quick GuideUrinary Tract Infections (Bladder Infection): UTI Symptoms, Treatment, Causes

Urinary Tract Infections (Bladder Infection): UTI Symptoms, Treatment, Causes

Is it possible to prevent a urinary tract infection?

Women and girls should wipe from front to back (not back to front) after bowel movements. This helps prevent bacteria from the anus entering the urethra.

Empty the bladder regularly and completely, especially after sexual intercourse.

Drink plenty of fluids, especially water.

Cranberry juice, especially, has been shown to help prevent urinary tract infections.

Women should empty the bladder soon after sexual intercourse.

What is the prognosis of a urinary tract infection?

For people with uncomplicated cystitis or pyelonephritis, antibiotic treatment usually brings complete resolution of the infection.

If not treated promptly, urinary tract infections can cause permanent scarring of the urinary tract.

Pyelonephritis, if not treated promptly, can spread to the bloodstream and cause a very severe infection.

  • Short-term and long-term kidney damage can be a result of pyelonephritis.
  • Death from pyelonephritis is rare in otherwise healthy people.
  • Factors associated with poor outcome are old age or general debility, kidney stones, recent hospitalization, diabetes, sickle cell disease, cancer, or chronic kidney disease.


Shaikh, N., N.E. Morone, J. Lopez, J. Chianese, S. Sangvai, F. D'Amico, A. Hoberman A, and E.R. Wald. "Does This Child Have a Urinary Tract Infection?" JAMA 298.24 Dec. 26, 2007 : 2895-2904.

St. John, A., J.C. Boyd, A.J. Lowes, and C.P. Price. "The Use of Urinary Dipstick Tests to Exclude Urinary Tract Infection: A Systematic Review of the Literature." Am J Clin Pathol 126.3 Sept. 2006: 428-436.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/26/2016

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