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Women's health testing is an essential aspect of preventive healthcare that involves regular screening for various infections and conditions that can affect a woman's reproductive health. Among the most common tests are those for urinary tract infections (UTIs), bacterial vaginosis (BV), and yeast infections.

The infections below can have similar symptoms, such as abnormal discharge, itching, and discomfort in the vaginal area. Because of this overlap, it is often difficult to self-diagnose these infections. It is important to get tested, especially if you are experiencing any symptoms, in order to receive proper treatment and avoid complications.

What is a urinary tract infection?

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a very common infection in the urinary tract system, which consists of your bladder, kidneys, urethra, and ureters.

What causes a urinary tract infection?

Urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria that first enters the urethra and then the bladder causing an infection.

What are the symptoms of a urinary tract infection?

A urinary tract infection causes the lining of the urinary tract to become inflamed, which can cause the symptoms listed below.

Symptoms include:

  • Painful or burning sensation when urinating

  • Feeling the urge to urinate more frequently

  • Lower back or abdomen pain

  • Cloudy or bloody urine that may have a strange odor

  • Fever or chills

Do I need to get tested for urinary tract infection?

It is important to get tested for a urinary tract infection if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms. If left untreated, urinary tract infections can lead to a kidney infection or other more serious infections.

How is a urinary tract infection treated?

Antibiotics are most likely used to treat urinary tract infections. Your healthcare provider will prescribe you antibiotics based on the particular bacteria that is causing your urinary tract infection. It is important to finish your antibiotics even if symptoms go away.

How can I reduce my risk of getting a urinary tract infection?

  • Don't hold in your pee, urinate as soon as you feel the need to

  • Wipe from front to back after using the toilet

  • Practice good hygiene

  • Urinate after sex to flush out any bacteria

  • Clean genitals before sex

  • Drinks lots of water or cranberry juice

  • Take showers over baths

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