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The UTI glossary is home to the terms you may have seen throughout your journey with urinary health. A quick search on google can often lead to a endless stream of information. That's why we created this glossary. A place for you to define terms and protect your peace of mind! Next time you find yourself searching, open this page and click "command + F" on your keyboard to find the term you're looking for.
Bacteria: Tiny organisms that cause infection or disease.
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV): BV is an inflammatory condition resulting from the overgrowth of “bad” bacteria in the vagina.
Biofilm: Biofilm is a protective network of bacterial cells and secreted compounds that forms a shield that is difficult to penetrate.
Bladder: The balloon- shaped organ inside the pelvis that holds urine.
Catheter: A thin, flexible tube used to drain urine. A catheter is inserted through the urethra to the bladder to drain the urine.
Chronic: Refers to disorders that last a long time, often years.
E.coli: stands for Escherichia coli and is the bacteria that’s responsible for the majority of UTIs.
Incontinence: Loss of bladder control. Learn more about the different types here.
Interstitial Cystitis: A chronic inflammatory condition of the bladder. Symptoms include difficulty urinating, pain during urination, urinary urgency, and more frequent urination.
IUD: Intrauterine device (IUD) is a type of birth control. It’s small plastic T-shaped device inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. It’s been shown that bacteria like E. coli can feed off of copper, which may encourage overgrowth which could lead to repeat infections.
Lactobacilli: Lactobacilli help to keep the vagina healthy by producing lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide, and other substances that inhibit the growth of yeast and other unwanted organisms. They maintain the vagina at a healthy pH between 3.8-4.5.
Microbiome: The vaginal microbiome is a complex community of microorganisms that live naturally in the human vagina.
Overactive Bladder (OAB): frequent and sudden urge to urinate that may be difficult to control.
pH: pH is a measure of how acidic/basic something is. In the UTI Learning Center we refer to pH measurements of urine and the vagina.
rUTI: Recurrent UTIs sometimes called persistent UTIs or embedded UTIs, are distinctly different from one-off UTIs, and can turn into a difficult, ongoing battle. At a basic level, recurrent UTIs are caused by bacterial populations in the bladder that are not eliminated, even after treatment with antibiotics.
Urethra: The channel that conducts urine from the bladder to outside the body.
Urinalysis: A test of a urine sample that can reveal many problems of the urinary tract and other body systems. The sample may be observed for color, cloudiness, concentration; signs of drug use; chemical composition, including glucose; the presence of protein, blood cells, or bacteria; or other signs of disease.
Urinary Incontinence: Involuntary loss of urine.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI): Infection caused by bacteria that invade the urinary system and multiply.
Urinary tract: The entire urinary system (kidneys, ureter, bladder, urethra).
Urogenital health: your vaginal health and bladder health.
Urogynecologist: is a surgeon who has specialized in the care of women with pelvic floor disorders.
Urologist: A specialist doctor who treats diseases of the urinary tract and related conditions.
Vaginal Flora: The vaginal flora is the bacteria that live inside the vagina.
Vulva: The outer part of the female genitals- includes the labia, clitoris, vaginal opening, and the opening to the urethra.
Sareena graduated with a B.A. in Social Sciences from the University of Oregon. She manages Uqora’s Digital Content and is responsible for Uqora's social media, newsletters and contributing to the UTI Learning Center.