Complications Caused by Untreated Urinary Tract Infection

Complications Caused by Untreated Urinary Tract Infection | HealthSoul

A urinary tract infection or UTI is one of the most common infections suffered by most people worldwide. This infection is more significant in women than men. In fact, 40% of women get urinary tract infections in their lifetime, while only 12% of men will encounter this infection. 

This infection targeted any part of your urinary tracts, such as the bladder, ureters, urethra, and even kidneys. UTI can be easily cured by antibiotics that your physician will prescribe. However, it is still best to avoid it happening altogether. If left untreated, UTI can cause more severe complications such as:

Recurrent Infections

UTI recurrence is most common amongst women who experienced two or more urinary tract infections within six months or four times and more within a year. A recurring urinary tract infection is expected to be more severe and happens longer than the usual UTI.

People who keep on experiencing a recurring infection of any sort have a weak immune system, a functional disorder, or an anatomic lesion. If you are experiencing a recurrent UTI or have experienced a recurrence of another infection, it is best to tell your physician so that your situation can be appropriately assessed especially if antibiotics do not help prevent the recurrence of your UTI.

Permanent Kidney Damage 

Untreated UTI can lead to permanent kidney damage caused by chronic or acute kidney infection. The kidney is a part of your urinary tract, which is why it is one of the most affected organs when you ignore your UTI. 

When your kidney gets damaged, all the waste products inside your body will build-up, which in result can cause swollen ankles, weakness, nausea, poor sleep, and even shortness of breath. If this will be left untreated, your damaged kidneys will one day stop working, and this condition can be life-threatening. 

Higher-Risk in Pregnancy

Pregnant women increased the likelihood of acquiring urinary tract infections than women who are not pregnant. Most pregnant women around 22-24 weeks of gestation usually contract UTI due to ureteral dilation caused by the enlarged uterus. 

Pregnant women who acquire UTI and do not receive proper treatment may risk low birth weight or premature birth. It is why pregnant women should double the measures they take to avoid or treat UTI and keep a healthy pregnancy.


The most frightening complication urinary tract infection can cause is urosepsis. Urosepsis is a kind of sepsis that is caused by urinary tract infections. Sepsis is known to be a life-threatening complication caused by any infection where you’re systemic inflammatory response to the infection in your body leads to multi-organ dysfunction or, worst, a failure that will cause death. 

You must watch out for signs of urosepsis, and if you noticed the following symptoms, it is best to seek medical care as soon as possible:

  • Pain at the lower side of your back near your kidneys
  • Severe fatigue
  • Nausea that can be accompanied by vomiting or not
  • Breathing problems
  • Decrease of urine amount or no urine at all
  • Confusion
  • Extreme anxiety
  • Weakening of pulse
  • Excessive sweating
  • High fever or low temperature
  • Abnormal heart rate

Urosepsis should be treated as a dangerous medical emergency. Even if you only suspect you may have urosepsis due to current UTI problems, it is best not to delay your visit to your physician so that your condition should be controlled and monitored properly. 

Common Triggers of UTI 

To avoid acquiring UTI, you should know what triggers the infection. Knowing what you must prevent could greatly help you make sure that your urinary system is healthy and will not be infected. 

Here are some triggers that can increase the likelihood of acquiring a UTI.

  • Sexual Intercourse. If you haven’t heard it yet, sexual intercourse can trigger an infection in your urinary tract, especially if you have sexual intercourse with multiple partners and do it intensely and frequently. 
  • Diabetes. Another factor that can increase your risk of having a UTI is diabetes. This is due to the patient’s high blood sugar level and constant urination. A high sugar level is a perfect environment for pathogens to grow, including bacterias that cause UTI.
  • Poor Hygiene. Women mostly make this mistake. They are more prone to UTI than men as their urethral opening is close to their anus and vagina, so having poor personal hygiene will increase bacterial growth that will enter the urethral opening and cause the infection. 
  • Not Fully Empty The bladder. It is best to ensure that you empty your bladder. Urinating disposal of waste from your body is why you must dispose of all of the waste completely. 
  • Pregnancy. As mentioned earlier, pregnant women are more prone to UTI than women that are not pregnant. 
  • Menopause
  • Contraceptives
  • Low immune system
  • Immobility for a long time
  • Use of tampons and spermicides
  • Procedures in The Urinary Tract
  • Massive intake of Antibiotics can disturb the natural flora of the urinary tract.


To avoid these complications from happening in the future, it is best to avoid contracting a UTI altogether. However, suppose you are already suffering from a urinary tract infection. In that case, it is best to schedule an appointment with your physician to be treated accordingly and prevent complications.