A urinary tract infection (UTI) is caused when bacteria enter the opening of the urethra and multiply.  If left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of the urinary tract, including the bladder and kidneys, and lead to a more serious condition. 

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Strong, persistent need to urinate
  • Pain in lower back or abdomen
  • Cloudy or thick urine
  • Blood in urine
  • Urine has a strong odor
  • Pain in the lower back or abdomen
  • Nausea, vomiting and/or a general ill feeling

**If you think you have a UTI, you must be seen in the Student Health Center.  An antibiotic is needed to treat a UTI.  Diagnosis is made from a urine sample.  NOTE:  Over the counter Pyridium (brand name Uristat) will NOT treat a bladder infection, it will help with burning only.  You should not take this until a urine sample is collected and you are being treated for a UTI.

How to prevent UTIs

  • Drink plenty of liquids, especially water and cranberry juice
  • After urinating, wipe front to back so bacteria from your anal area is not spread
  • Urinate frequently and as soon as possible after sex
  • Change sanitary pads and tampons frequently
  • Avoid tight fitting clothes if prone to UTIs
  • Try not to use perfumed toilet paper, soaps or powders in the vaginal area
  • Take showers rather than baths

If you experience any of the following, you may have a kidney infection.  You should seek medical attention immediately:

  • UTI with a fever of 101 or more
  • Chills
  • Vomiting
  • Pain in your side

Students who have questions or concerns regarding their personal health may e-mail the Health and Wellness Center Nurse, call (814) 641-3410, or visit the Center during its hours, Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to noon and 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. as well as Monday evenings from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.