I recently I began having pain in my bladder/urethra when I move or sit a certain way. I also have pain when I pee as well. Could I have a urinary tract infection (UTI)? I am scared to tell my parents, help!

Thanks for your question. It’s possible that you have a urinary tract infection; however, the only way to know for sure is to see your primary care provider (PCP). Your provider will be able to tell if you have a UTI or if something else is causing your symptoms. You will likely be asked to pee into a cup so that your urine can be checked for bacteria. UTIs are a common type of infection where bacteria (germs) enter your urethra (opening where urine comes out) and up into your bladder. Anyone can get a UTI; children, teens, women, and men. UTIs are not contagious, meaning you cannot pass them from person to person. It is very important to tell your PCP if you are sexually active, as you may need STI testing as well. Treatment is available for both UTIs and STIs, with the right medications your symptoms should begin to improve within a few days.

For the future, here are some tips that are helpful for some young women trying to lower their chance of getting another UTIs: drinking 8-10 large glasses/day of water, pee or empty your bladder every 2 hours, some doctors also recommend urinating right after sex to “get rid of” any bacteria that may enter your urethra during sex, and finally several studies have found that  drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry extract can lower your risk of repeated UTIs (but will not treat or cure UTI) in some people. Antibiotics are used not just for treatment of UTIs but sometimes for prevention.