A urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria enters the urinary tract, which includes your bladder and kidneys, and multiplies in the urine. Most UTIs are bladder infections and affect women more than men. Women experience more UTIs because women have shorter urethras, so bacteria have a shorter distance to travel. Although urinary tract infections can be painful, prescribed medicine can eliminate the pain within 1-2 days and can keep your urinary tract infection from becoming a more serious threat such as a kidney infection.


You may have a UTI if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • A strong, persistent urge to urinate but unable to do so
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Sense of urgency to urinate
  • Sensation of incomplete emptying (urinating only to feel that you are still not empty)
  • Leaking a little urine
  • Urine that appears cloudy
  • Urine that is bright pink or cola colored (this is a sign of blood in the urine)
  • Strong, smelling urine
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Back pain
  • Mild fever and chills


If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is important that you visit a healthcare provider as soon as possible. If you would like to make an appointment at Student Health, please call 319-335-8394. At your appointment you may be asked for a urine sample to determine if you have a UTI. If so, your provider will prescribe you with an antibiotic. Typically, your symptoms of a UTI will disappear in 1-2 days but it is very important that you take all of your medication as prescribed even if you are feeling better.


Here are some tips to prevent a Urinary Tract Infection:

  • Drink plenty of water to flush out bacteria each day.
  • Urinate often. Do not hold it in.
  • After using the bathroom, always wipe front to back.
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to moisture by not wearing nylon underwear or wet swimsuits.
  • If you are sexually active, urinate after sex to help wash away any bacteria.