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What is a Urinary Tract Infection?
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What is basically a large bag that empties into a urethra?
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What is a Urinary Tract Infection?
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Hi, I'm Dr. Bob Lahita, the chairman of medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medicine Center and Professor of Medicine at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. This segment is called: What is a Urinary Tract Infection?

What is a Urinary Tract Infection?

The urinary tract is composed of two kidneys, two ureters- which are the tubes that go from the kidneys to the bladder, and the bladder - basically a large bag that empties into a urethra. The urethra, in a man, goes through the penis through which one urinates. And in the female the urethra is a very short piece that goes from the top of the vagina and is the area from which the female urinates as well.

Now any one of those areas of the urinary tract can be infected with an organism. There are reasons for infections, but suffice it to say that infections of the kidneys can occur and those are called pyelonephritis which is Latin for "infection of the kidney". You can have infections of the ureter and most commonly, problems of the bladder.



Symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection

The bladder infection is called cystitis. Bladder infections are very, very painful and usually result in burning on urination and in some cases severe spasms. Any one of these infections, such as cystitis or pyelonephritis can cause severe pain. A lower tract infection (cystitis) can be painful sometimes it can also be non-painful.

Other symptoms that can occur instead or at the same time include: frequent urination, burning only with urination, foul-smelling urine, or incontinence. And pyelonephritis can be quite serious because it can not only cause pain but also the blood can be seeded with bacteria. This is usually not a big problem with young people, but in an older individual one of the most common causes of death is a urinary tract infection seeding the blood causing what is called urosepsis.

For more about this topic, go to About.com.
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