Virtual Care > Virtual Care: Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

What is a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?

A urinary tract infection occurs when microorganisms, usually bacteria from the digestive tract, cling to the opening of the urethra, the hollow tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body, and begin to multiply.

Urinary tract infections are a serious, but common, health problem that affects millions of people each year. Women are especially prone to urinary tract infections.


The following are the most common symptoms of a urinary tract infection. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Frequent urination
  • A painful, burning feeling during urination
  • Fever
  • Feeling pain even when not urinating
  • Fatigue
  • Pain in the back or side, below the ribs
  • Urine appears cloudy or reddish in color (blood may be present in the urine)
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Despite an intense urge to urinate, only a small amount of urine is passed
  • Women may feel an uncomfortable pressure above the pubic bone


The symptoms of a urinary tract infection may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.



Antibiotics may be used to treat urinary tract infections. Always complete the entire course of antibiotics, finishing all the medicine your doctor has prescribed. Behavior modifications may also be recommended, such as drinking plenty of water to help cleanse the urinary tract of bacteria and avoiding coffee, alcohol and spicy foods.

Visit with a Virtual Care health care provider on the phone or online for help with your symptoms.

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