A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection that grows within the urinary system. The urinary system consists of two kidneys, two ureters, the bladder and the urethra. In most cases of UTI’s, the infection is caused by the bacteria Escherichia coli, commonly known as E.coli. Urine is a sterile fluid that is excreted out of the body via the urethra. However, if a bacterium enter the urethra and makes it way through the urinary system, this can cause a UTI. Cystitis, a bladder infection is the most common type of UTI. This type of UTI is rather uncomplicated and usually requires a short set of antibiotics for treatment. However, a kidney infection is more severe. If the infection reaches the kidneys, intravenous antibiotics may be necessary due to the permanent damage it may possibly inflict onto the kidneys if not treated quickly enough. Some risk factors include, female gender, sexual activity, diaphragms used for birth control, post menopause due to the decrease in production of mucus which is known to stop the bacteria from multiplying, kidney stones and long term catheter use. Patients experiencing uncomplicated UTI’s usually complain of cloudy urine, blood in urine, frequent need to urinate, pain during urination, abdominal and back pain. Severe UTI symptoms include all mentioned along with fever, shivering, vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is recommended to see your doctor as soon as possible.