We Value Your Privacy

We and our partners use technology such as cookies on our site to personalise content and ads, provide social media features, and analyse our traffic. Click below to consent to the use of this technology across the web. You can change your mind and change your consent choices at anytime by returning to this site.

Update Consent
Loading ...

Incubation Time for Urinary Tract Infections

Updated April 17, 2017

A urinary tract infection (UTI) occurs when bacteria moves up the urethra into the bladder, ureters and/or kidneys. Urinary tract infections are easily treated, but can be a serious health problem if left untreated. According to the National Kidney and Urologic Disease Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC), they account for around 8 million visits to doctors annually. Incubation time for a UTI can vary from a few days to several weeks, depending on the bacteria that is causing the infection.

Loading ...

Causes of Urinary Tract Infections: E. coli

Urinary tract infections can be caused be a number of different bacteria, but the most common cause is the bacteria E. coli. This bacteria occurs naturally in the human gut. E. coli can enter the urinary tract as a result of improper bathroom habits. E. coli has an incubation period of anywhere from three to eight days, according to the World Health Organization.

E. coli most often gets into the urinary tract when it is transferred from the digestive tract. This can occur when faeces come in contact with the urinary opening as a result of poor bathroom habits such as wiping back to front. Diarrhoea due to the flu or other gastric upsets may also transfer E. coli to the urinary tract. The bacteria can also be transferred during sexual intercourse, with women especially at risk, according to NKUDIC.

Causes of UTIs: Chlamydia

Urinary tract infections can also be caused by chlamydia, which is sexually transmitted. However, UTIs caused by this bacteria are less common than those caused by E. coli and are usually limited to the bladder and urethra. Chlamydia has an incubation period of one to three weeks, according to Dr. Debra E Houry, associate professor of Emergency Medicine at Emory University.

Causes of UTIs: Mycoplasma

Mycoplasma is best known as a cause of pneumonia, but it has recently been identified as a sexually transmitted infection that can also cause UTIs. The incubation period for Mycoplasma genitalium, the mycoplasma bacteria that causes UTIs, has not been firmly established. However, according to Dr. Ken B Waites, director of clinical microbiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the usual incubation period for mycoplasma is between one and three weeks.

Who is at Risk for a UTI?

Some people are at higher risk for UTIs than others. Women tend to get more UTIs than men, for reasons that are not fully understood, but which likely have to do with anatomical differences from men, such as a shorter urethra. Diabetics and people who have kidney stones may also be more prone to UTIs. Some women have recurrent UTIs during pregnancy; NKUDIC estimates that 2 to 4 per cent of pregnant women will develop a UTI. Catheterisation and immune deficiency can also contribute to UTIs.

Children and infants are prone to UTIs, though their symptoms may be attributed to other conditions. It is important to watch UTI symptoms in infants and children carefully, as they may be a result of anatomical abnormalities that need surgery to correct.

Treatment of UTIs

A doctor will diagnose your UTI by checking your urine for blood or pus. This will require a "clean catch" urine sample, which is done in the doctor's office. UTIs caused by chlamydia or mycoplasma may take a more thorough bacteria culture to diagnose.

UTIs are treated with prescription antibiotics, including amoxicillin, sulfa drugs and ampicillin. Be sure to disclose any allergies or sensitivities to your doctor during your visit.

Loading ...

About the Author

Susan Harper has been writing since 2000, specializing in spirituality and gender/sexuality topics. Her work has appeared in "Sagewoman," "Journal of Bisexuality" and "Journal of International Women's Studies." Harper holds a Doctor of Philosophy in cultural anthropology from Southern Methodist University.

Loading ...