Do I have Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)? Common Symptoms and When to Get Tested

Ever felt that burning sensation when you pee or had the urge to go constantly but only pass a few drops? These could be signs of a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), a common yet often misunderstood condition.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) affect millions worldwide. In Nigeria, it affects roughly 1 in 7 women and a smaller percentage of men throughout their lives. What is this infection? How do you get it? Can it be prevented? Read on to find your answers.

What is an Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?

Imagine your urinary tract as a complex plumbing system. Your kidneys act as filters, removing waste from your blood. This waste travels down narrow tubes called ureters and collects in the bladder, a muscular sac that stores urine until you’re ready to release it. Finally, urine exits your body through the urethra.

Unfortunately, this system isn’t immune to unwelcome guests. A UTI occurs when bacteria enter any of the organs in the urinary tract. The bacteria irritate the lining of these organs, causing inflammation and discomfort. Most UTIs affect the lower urinary tract, specifically the bladder (cystitis) or urethra (urethritis)

Signs You May Have a UTI

While symptoms vary, some common signs of a UTI include:

  • Burning sensation or pain while urinating: This is the most common symptom, often described as a stinging or burning feeling which makes even passing small amounts of urine unpleasant.
  • Frequent urination: Feeling the urge to urinate more often than usual, even if only small amounts come out, is a telltale sign.
  • Urgent urination: A sudden, strong urge to urinate, even if your bladder doesn’t feel full, can be a symptom of a UTI.
  • Pain in the lower abdomen or pelvic area: A dull ache or pressure around the pubic bone or lower abdomen can indicate inflammation from the infection.
  • Changes in urine: Cloudy, bloody, or foul-smelling urine can be another sign of an infection

But Is it Always an Urinary Tract Infection?

While these symptoms raise concerns, it’s important to note that other conditions can mimic UTI symptoms. For example, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like Chlamydia and Gonorrhea can cause similar discomfort. Additionally, bladder stones, kidney infections, and even stress can trigger similar urinary issues.

Ignoring a potential UTI can have serious consequences. Untreated infections can escalate, potentially spreading to the kidneys and causing damage that might require hospitalization. This can be a significant financial burden, especially in challenging economic times.

Early diagnosis and treatment, on the other hand, are much more cost-effective and significantly less disruptive. By seeking professional help promptly, you can alleviate discomfort, prevent complications, and get back to feeling your best sooner.

Preventing UTIs

The good news is that you can significantly reduce your risk of UTIs by taking some simple steps:

  • Maintain proper hygiene: Regularly cleanse your genital area with warm water and mild soap, especially after sexual activity.
  • Urinate frequently and completely: Don’t hold your urine for extended periods. Emptying your bladder regularly helps flush out bacteria.
  • Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water dilutes your urine and helps flush out bacteria from the urinary tract. Water is your best friend here!
  • Wipe front to back: This simple hygiene practice prevents bacteria from spreading from the anus to the urethra, where it can enter the urinary tract.
  • Consider cranberry supplements: While not a substitute for professional medical advice, cranberry supplements may offer some preventive benefits.

So What Should I Do If I Suspect a UTI?


If you suspect you have a urinary tract infection, it is important you immediately seek professional help and get tested.

However, what if you can’t go to a hospital because of time constraints or for fear of stigmatization?

The Peach Kit allows you to get tested in the comfort of your phone, send your samples to a certified lab, and get your results as quickly as possible.


  1. This is very helpful; thanks for sharing. Many people ignore the symptoms of UTI, and some just assume it is something else, which is why routine checkup is very essential for early detection.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *