Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary tract infection is the most common bacterial infection in US adults.1 11 million women are treated for urinary tract infection (UTI) every year. Approximately 15% of all antibiotics prescribed in the US are dispensed to treat UTIs, costing more than an estimated 1.6 billion dollars a year. Urinary tract infections result in more than 100,000 hospital admissions a year, primarily to treat an infection of the kidneys called pyelonephritis.2

Anatomy of the Urinary Tract

The urinary tract is the system that makes urine and transports it from your body. The upper urinary tract consists of the two kidneys and the ureters, which are the tubes connecting the kidneys and urinary bladder. The kidneys filter waste products from the blood and excrete them in the urine. The lower urinary tract consists of the urinary bladder and the urethra, or the tube leading from the bladder to the outside of the body. The lower urinary tract stores urine and eliminates it from the body.

Infections of the urinary tract are classified by the structure they involve. Pyelonephritis is an infection of the kidneys. Cystitis is an infection of the urinary bladder (bladder infection).

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