The most common symptoms of urinary tract infections in women include a burning sensation when urinating, intense and frequent urges to urinate, pressure and pain in the lower abdomen and back, and cloudy, bloody or dark urine, according to WebMD. Some women may also feel shaky and tired.
Additional symptoms may include fever and chills, which is an indication that the infection may have traveled to the kidneys, explains WebMD.
Women are at risk for urinary tract infections more than men because their urethras are shorter, according to Healthline. Additional risk factors include obstructions that block the flow of urine, aggressive sexual activity that puts pressure on the urinary tract, and bathroom hygiene practices that include wiping from back to front, which moves bacteria from the rectum toward the urethra.
The use of spermicides can also increase a woman's risk for a urinary tract infection because bacteria can enter the bladder, according to Healthline. Sexual activity with a latex condom often causes increased friction which can irritate a woman's skin and increase the risk of a urinary tract infection. Certain forms of birth control, such as diaphragms, can also put pressure on the uretha, which decreases the bladder's ability to empty.
Patients with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or a loss of estrogen during menopause, are often more susceptible to urinary tract infections, according to Healthline.