Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can affect the bladder, kidneys, ureters (tubes from kidney to bladder) or the urethra (tube from the bladder to the outside of the body). It is possible to have a viral urinary tract infection, but bacteria is more likely to be the cause.
It may be caused by bacteria from feces that have entered your urinary tract. This may be prevented by always making sure to wipe from front to back in the bathroom.
An infection can develop if you have the habit of holding urine too long. To prevent this, go when you need to go. Don't hold it.
Sexual activity can lead to a bacterial infection as the other person's or your own bacteria can get into your urinary tract. Urination before and after sex helps to remove bacteria from the area.
As a general prevention, drinking cranberry juice keeps the walls of the urinary tract slippery. Bacteria can't stick so easily and exits the body.
UTIs come with an assortment of miserable symptoms. A bladder infection causes pain or burning upon urination, and frequent need to urinate. Urine may be cloudy or bloody, or having a strong odor. You may have pain or cramping in the lower back or the lower abdomen, and possible fever.
Urethritis, a type of UTI, brings a burning sensation during urination and can produce a urethral or vaginal discharge.
Kidney infection may render you exhausted, possibly nauseous and vomiting. Shaking, chills and fever may occur. You may have pain in the side, back, abdomen or groin, and you may be fevered and flushed.
Approximately half of all women with UTIs will have pain during sex as a symptom of their infection. You may have an inflamed and sensitive bladder, all the more sensitive due to pressure against it during intercourse, or it may increase the pain in your abdomen and your lower back.
These discomforts taken together with a combination of the other symptoms mentioned here, are good indicators that you have a urinary tract infection. Treatment of the infection will also take care of the painfulness during sex.
A trip to your doctor will tell you which type of infection you have.