​Urinary Tract Infection 

Urinary tract infection is the inflammation of any part of the urinary system, including kidneys, bladder, ureters and urethra. It is caused by bacteria entering the tract and multiplying over time.

Urinary tract infection is more common among women, due to the design of their anatomy which makes it easier for the bacteria to reach the urinary tract. Other factors include menopause (permanent cessation of menstrual activity), birth control methods and sexual activity.

Factors that generally increase chances of urinary tract infection in both men and women include kidney stones, diabetes, prostate enlargement  (in men only), pelvic or urinary surgery or any injury in the urinary tract.​​​​​​​

Symptoms for urinary tract infection vary depending on the specific organ that is affected.

If the infection is in the bladder (cystitis), symptoms might involve pain during passing urine, frequent urination, and urinary leakage, blood in the urine, pelvic pressure and lower abdominal pain.

If the kidneys are affected, symptoms might include fever, vomiting, upper back pain, nausea and chills. 

Infection of the urethra might result in burning, foul-smelling and painful urination with whitish urethral discharge​

If you experience any of the above symptoms, you should see your doctor or consult the physicians from the K​idney and Bladder​ service line at Aga Khan University Hospital. The symptoms of urinary tract infection may resemble those of other diseases. For preliminary examination you can consult the medical professionals at the Family Health Services for an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.
 Your time with your doctor maybe limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here​ are some tips to help get you started. ​
The doctor may begin by assessing your medical history, performing a physical exam and running a urine test. Urinalysis and urine culture tests are usually advised in order to identify the bacteria causing the infection.
It is of utmost importance to identify and treat the underlying cause of infection especially if the infection is occurring frequently. For a more detailed diagnosis, imagery tests might follow in the form of ultrasound and computerized tomography (CT). These tests help determine the form, shape, size and mass of the bladder- kidney region and to identify any underlying cause of infection.
In case these tests remain inconclusive, the inside linings of your bladder and urethra might be analyzed via a procedure known as cystoscopy. This involves inserting a long, thin, camera-fitted tube via path of the urethra into the bladder.
Complete blood count (CBC): One or more parameters related to red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets might be affected in this condition, giving a clue towards etiology and further diagnostic approach. Therefore, it is an ancillary test in the diagnostic workup of this disease.

Disclaimer: Kindly consult your physician before getting the above-mentioned tests.

Simple cases of urinary tract infection might be dealt with through dietary and lifestyle changes (increasing water intake, reducing caffeine consumption, and so on).

Milder infections are dealt with antibiotics and take around a couple of weeks to heal. Your doctor may prescribe them either for a few days or for the entire course of the treatment. It is important that you continue with your medication as per your prescription, even after the symptoms are no longer apparent. Leaving the medication early might cause a revival of the infection. Your doctor may also prescribe pain relievers for numbing the pain and burning sensation in the urine. These may result in discolored urine, but this should not be taken as the worsening of your condition or some other disease.​

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.

The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments' costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.​

Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.

​The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.