Kidney infection

A kidney infection, which is also known as pyelonephritis, is when the kidneys become inflamed due to a bacteria. This can be a very painful and uncomfortable condition which is usually brought on by a bladder infection.

Kidney infections can affect people of all ages, however are most commonly found in women.

As women have a much shorter urethra, bacteria can reach the kidney more easily. Woman who are sexually active also have an increased risk of developing a kidney infection.

As mentioned before, a kidney infection can be brought on by a bladder infection. If you have a bladder infection this does not mean that it will automatically develop into a kidney infection.

A kidney infection is usually treated with a course of antibiotics; if this is done at an early stage it is likely that no permanent damage will be don and it will clear up within a few days. If left untreated, it can become a lot worse and possibly caused permanent damage to the kidneys.

Here are some of the symptoms to look out for:

  • Fever/shiver
  • Having pain in your back or sides
  • Smelly or cloudy urine
  • Blood in your urine
  • Pain or burning when urinating
  • Need to urine suddenly or more often

A kidney infection is relatively simple to diagnose: you will need to provide a urine sample and an explanation of the symptoms that you have. In most cases you will be given a course of antibiotics to get rid of the bacteria; most people will be back to normal within around 2 weeks. If you are still experiencing problems go back to see your GP or urologist.

Here are some tips that you can follow to reduce your risk of developing a urine infection:

  • Drinking lots of water
  • Not holding in urine
  • Going to the toilet before and after sex
  • Washing your genitals daily
  • Using protection during sex

This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.