Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a frequent complaint among patients, especially adult women. Between 40% and 50% of women experience a UTI at least once during their adult lives. These statistics might make a UTI sound more harmless than it actually is.
The truth is, a urinary tract infection can cause a wide range of pestering symptoms. One common question those suffering from a urinary infection ask is: does a UTI make you tired?
What’s a UTI?
A urinary tract infection is an infection that can affect any part of your urinary system. The urinary system includes kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. UTIs happen when bacteria go into the urinary tract, through the urethra, and all the way to your bladder. The bacteria then start to grow and multiply, which causes an infection.
One of the main culprits of a UTI is a type of bacteria known as E. coli. However, some other bacteria present in the gastrointestinal tract and around your anal area can cause these infections as well. Sexual activity can also increase the risk of infection.
The bladder and urethra are not the only organs that can get affected by a UTI. If you don’t treat the infection in a timely manner, it can spread to other parts of the urinary system, including the kidneys.
Does a UTI Make You Tired?
Although some UTIs may go unnoticed symptoms-wise, others can cause a broad spectrum of unpleasant manifestations. Even though fatigue is not a symptom you’d commonly connect to a urinary tract infection, it occurs often.
Especially if a lower urinary tract infection has spread to the kidneys. In this case, you can also experience fever, which is one of the reasons you might feel overall tired and washed out.
Depending on which part of the urinary system has been affected by a UTI, you can experience different sets of symptoms. The symptoms of a bladder infection can include:
• A strong desire to urinate
• A feeling of itching and burning while urinating
• Passing small amounts of urine often
• A cloudy appearance of the urine
• Signs of blood in the urine
• Urine that has a very strong smell
• Pain in the pelvic area.
In case the infection has spread to the kidneys, you may experience:
• Pain in your back and/or side
• High fever
• Nausea and
When To See a Doctor
Some UTIs are not as serious as others, and they may pass on their own provided you take enough liquids and rest for a few days. However, if a urinary infection spreads to your kidneys, this can cause further complications.
So, if you do not feel any improvement after a couple of days of bed rest, and your symptoms are getting worse, the infection might have spread. You can experience signs of fatigue, fever, nausea, or vomiting, which indicate the presence of a more serious infection.
If you are having any of these symptoms, you should definitely make an appointment with your health provider. Your doctor will know the right course of treatment that will resolve the infection without further complications.