What Is A Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection is an infection of the urinary system. This type of infection can involve your urethra , kidneys or bladder, .
Your urine typically doesnt contain bacteria . Urine is a byproduct of our filtration systemthe kidneys. When waste products and excess water is removed from your blood by the kidneys, urine is created. Normally, urine moves through your urinary system without any contamination. However, bacteria can get into the urinary system from outside of the body, causing problems like infection and inflammation. This is a urinary tract infection .
Things You Need To Know About Utis & Treatment At An Urgent Care
If youve ever had a urinary tract infection the second most common type of bacterial infection you know how uncomfortable it can be. The relentless need to pee and the burning sensation when you do prompt you to consider the fastest option for relief.
While contacting your doctor might be your first inclination, did you know there are other convenient options like visiting an urgent care center for same-day diagnosis and treatment, saving you time and hassle? Plus, understanding the root cause of infection and knowing how best to prevent it can help you avoid reoccurrences. Because, lets face it, no one wants a UTI.
Treatment For Frequent Urination
Theres not one way to stop frequent urination. The first step to figuring out whats going on, though, is a urinalysis, the classic test in which you pee in a cup, to rule out any infection or hematuria , explains Dr. Moore. Experts also often recommend keeping a bladder diary documenting the frequency of your urination, which you can share with your doctor.
Once your doctor can rule out those causes, they might suggest certain lifestyle changes to reduce frequent urination, including decreasing your overall fluid intake to less than 64 ounces a day, tapering your consumption of bladder irritants like caffeine, spicy foods and alcohol, and implementing pelvic floor exercises. If those strategies dont work for a patient, a health care provider might try other medical interventions like prescriptions or bladder injections, says Dr. Moore.
During pregnancy, the treatment process for frequent urination is similar, but theres also a major emphasis on kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles in order to help hold in urine, says Dr. Pedroso. Additionally, proactively emptying the bladder at certain time intervals, such as every two hours, regardless of the urge to urinate, can improve bladder control and decrease sudden urges, she adds.
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You Can Visit An Urgent Care Center For Uti Treatment
Its likely you trust your OB/GYN or primary care physician to help determine the best course of treatment when ailments arise. But demands for medical care can make it difficult for you to get in to see you doctor, not to mention if you develop symptoms for a urinary tract infection at a time when your physicians office is closed.
Urgent care centers, like GoHealth Urgent Care, routinely treat UTIs. With extended hours and same-day walk-in appointments, its easy to get answers and relief from a healthcare professional. At a GoHealth Urgent Care center, well perform a urine test, also known as a urinalysis, to determine if you do indeed have a UTI. On-site laboratories allow us to review urine cultures and ensure we prescribe, if necessary, the best course and type of antibiotic treatment for you.
If seeing your OB/GYN or primary care physician is not an option, and youre wondering whether to go to an urgent care center or the emergency room, you should consider these differences. Emergency rooms are usually reserved for just that emergency or life-threatening situations, like strokes, head trauma or difficulty breathing. UTIs, while painful, are not life-threatening, especially if caught and treated early. Plus, visiting an urgent care center for UTIs typically costs far less than an emergency room, and may be covered by your health insurance.
An Extreme Urgency To Pee
Do you find yourself going extra frequently, and are you finding that when you have to go, you HAVE to go? This could be a sign of a UTI. While your body is trying to fight the infection, it might have you going to the bathroom again and again to flush things out.
Make sure to drink plenty of water. Also keep in mind that this can be a sign of other problems , so dont hesitate to talk to your doctor if you suddenly have to pee all the time.
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What To Do At Home
To ease your pain or discomfort until antibiotics can work to remedy the infection:
- Drink more water to dilute urine and help flush bacteria out of your urinary tract.
- Avoid drinking fluids that irritate the bladder such as alcohol, soft drinks, coffee or other caffeine drinks, or citrus juices while you have the infection. These may increase the frequency of sensing an urgent need to urinate.
- Use a heating pad set on warm temperature , placed on your abdominal area, to reduce bladder discomfort or pressure.
Treatment For More Severe Utis
Kids with a more severe infection may need treatment in a hospital so they can get antibiotics by injection or IV .
This might happen if:
- the child has high fever or looks very ill, or a kidney infection is likely
- the child is younger than 6 months old
- bacteria from the infected urinary tract may have spread to the blood
- the child is dehydrated or is vomiting and cannot take any fluids or medicine by mouth
Kids with VUR will be watched closely by the doctor. VUR might be treated with medicines or, less commonly, surgery. Most kids outgrow mild forms of VUR, but some can develop kidney damage or kidney failure later in life.
When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider
- Back pain.
If you have any of these symptoms, or your other symptoms continue after treatment, call your healthcare provider. A UTI can spread throughout your urinary tract and into other parts of your body. However, treatment is very effective and can quickly relieve your symptoms.
When To See A Doctor About A Urinary Tract Infection
If you are experiencing frequent and painful urination and think you may have a urinary tract infection, call your doctor. Your doctor will test a urine sample for the presence of the specific bacteria that cause urinary tract infections.
If you do test positive for a UTI, your doctor will prescribe you on antibiotics to treat the infection. As with all antibiotics, make sure to take the full dosage even if you are feeling better. Additionally, your doctor may prescribe a medication that will make urination less painful.
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How Are Urinary Tract Infections Treated
You will need to treat a urinary tract infection. Antibiotics are medicines that kill bacteria and fight an infection. Antibiotics are typically used to treat urinary tract infections. Your healthcare provider will pick a drug that best treats the particular bacteria thats causing your infection. Some commonly used antibiotics can include:
- Quinolones .
Its very important that you follow your healthcare providers directions for taking the medicine. Dont stop taking the antibiotic because your symptoms go away and you start feeling better. If the infection is not treated completely with the full course of antibiotics, it can return.
If you have a history of frequent urinary tract infections, you may be given a prescription for antibiotics that you would take at the first onset of symptoms. Other patients may be given antibiotics to take every day, every other day, or after sexual intercourse to prevent the infection. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best treatment option for you if you have a history of frequent UTIs.
Antibiotics For A Uti
The form of antibiotic used to treat a bacterial UTI usually depends on which part of the tract is involved.
Lower tract UTIs can usually be treated with oral antibiotics. Upper tract UTIs require intravenous antibiotics. These antibiotics are put directly into your veins.
Sometimes, bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics. To reduce your risk of antibiotic resistance, your doctor will likely put you on the shortest treatment course possible. Treatment typically lasts no more than 1 week.
Results from your urine culture can help your doctor select an antibiotic treatment that will work best against the type of bacteria thats causing your infection.
Treatments other than antibiotics for bacterial UTIs are being examined. At some point, UTI treatment without antibiotics may be an option for bacterial UTIs by using cell chemistry to change the interaction between the body and the bacteria.
There are no home remedies that can cure a UTI, but there are some things that you can do that can help your medication work better.
These home remedies for UTIs, like drinking more water, may help your body clear the infection faster.
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Symptoms That Show You Are Suffering From A Uti
As earlier mentioned, some of the symptoms mimic those of a sexually transmitted infection. However, it is best to see your gynecologist if experiencing any of the following symptoms. This is essential in order to ascertain the problem and get treatment. These symptoms include:
- When one pees, experiencing a burning sensation
- Frequently having a pressing need to pee, and sometimes the very little is released when one goes to the bathroom
- The urine is characterized by a bloody, cloudy, dark appearance and will smell strange
- Having the shakes and feeling fatigued
- If the infection has affected your kidneys, you may experience chills or fever
- Experiencing pressure or pain on your lower abdomen or back
Complications Of A Uti
Complications of UTIs arent common, but they can be serious and require immediate treatment by a doctor. They usually affect people diagnosed with diabetes, a weakened immune system, men with recurrent UTIs, or women who are pregnant.
If a UTI is left untreated, bacteria may travel to the kidneys causing kidney infection, damage and even kidney failure. Blood poisoning can happen and occurs when the infection spreads from the kidneys to the blood-stream.
If the infection moves to the kidneys, there may be high fever, back pain, diarrhoea and vomiting. If you have these symptoms, it is important to see your doctor.
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What Is The Prognosis For A Person With A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections typically respond very well to treatment. A UTI can be uncomfortable before you start treatment, but once your healthcare provider identifies the type of bacteria and prescribes the right antibiotic medication, your symptoms should improve quickly. Its important to keep taking your medication for the entire amount of time your healthcare provider prescribed. If you have frequent UTIs or if your symptoms arent improving, your provider may test to see if its an antibiotic-resistant infection. These are more complicated infections to treat and may require intravenous antibiotics or alternative treatments.
Causes Of Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs are usually caused by bacteria from poo entering the urinary tract.
The bacteria enter through the tube that carries pee out of the body .
Women have a shorter urethra than men. This means bacteria are more likely to reach the bladder or kidneys and cause an infection.
Things that increase the risk of bacteria getting into the bladder include:
- having sex
do not use scented soap
do not hold your pee in if you feel the urge to go
do not rush when going for a pee try to fully empty your bladder
do not wear tight, synthetic underwear, such as nylon
do not drink lots of alcoholic drinks, as they may irritate your bladder
do not have lots of sugary food or drinks, as they may encourage bacteria to grow
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Treating Chronic Urinary Tract Infections
If a person suffers from two or more infections to the urinary tract in a year, they need to speak to their gynecologist to suggest a treatment regimen. Multiple options are available with some of them being:
- Being prescribed for a low antibiotic dosage to be taken over a prolonged period. This is useful in preventing repeat infections
- Sex is a popular trigger for a UTI. A doctor can recommend taking one dosage of antibiotics following sexual intercourse
- A doctor can prescribe for one to be taking antibiotics every time the symptoms recur for one or two days.
- Being subjected to a prophylaxis treatment that is a non-antibiotic.
A person that suffers from chronic infections can also do urine tests at home. This will help determine if there is a need to see a doctor or not. The home urine tests will also help a patient see if the infection is cleared, although this does not excuse a person from finishing their prescription.
Can Urinary Tract Infections Be Prevented Or Avoided
There are many lifestyle choices that can help you prevent UTIs. These are some of the things you can do to protect yourself from them:
- Drink plenty of water to flush out bacteria. For some people, drinking cranberry juice may also help prevent urinary tract infections. However, if youre taking warfarin, check with your doctor before using cranberry juice to prevent urinary tract infections. Your doctor may need to adjust your warfarin dose or you may need to have more frequent blood tests.
- Dont hold your urine. Urinate when you feel like you need to. Some children dont go to the bathroom often enough. If your child does this, teach him or her to go to the bathroom several times each day.
- Wipe from front to back after bowel movements. Teach your child to wipe correctly.
- Urinate after having sex to help wash away bacteria.
- Use enough lubrication during sex. Try using a small amount of lubricant before sex if youre a little dry.
- If you get urinary tract infections often, you may want to avoid using a diaphragm as a birth control method. Ask your doctor about other birth control choices.
- Avoid taking or giving your child bubble baths.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing , and dress your child in loose-fitting clothing.
- If you are uncircumcised, wash the foreskin regularly. If you have an uncircumcised boy, teach him how to wash his foreskin.
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How Common Are Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are very common, occurring in 1 out of 5 women sometime in their lifetime. Though UTIs are common in women, they can also happen to men, older adults and children. One to 2% of children develop urinary tract infections. Each year, 8 million to 10 million visits to doctors are for urinary tract infections.
Condom Use During Sex
Non-lubricated latex condoms may increase friction and irritate the skin during sexual intercourse. This may increase the risk of a UTI.
To help prevent friction and skin irritation from condoms, be sure to use enough water-based lubricant during sex.
Avoid using condoms that have been coated with spermicide.
Can I Treat My Uti At Home
If diagnosed early, most UTIs can be treated at home with a course of antibiotics. However, its important to see our team at Physicians Medical Urgent Care as soon as you notice UTI symptoms because there are multiple types of bacteria that can cause UTIs.
During your UTI appointment, Dr. Sveltlana Burkhead or Dr. Ines Munoz De Laborde examines the urinary tract for signs of infection and takes a urine sample to identify the type of bacteria involved. Once the bacteria is identified, you are given an antibiotic course to treat that specific type of bacteria.
Once you go home, follow your prescribed antibiotic regimen and drink lots of water. Its very important to finish your entire course of antibiotics even if you start to feel better so that your infection is fully cleared.
If youre suffering from the pain, burning, and discomfort of a UTI, dont wait until your infection gets worse. Speak to our team at Physicians Medical Urgent Care immediately by calling 888-265-2120 or booking an appointment online.
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What Are The Symptoms
You may have an infection if you have any of these symptoms:
- You feel pain or burning when you urinate.
- You feel like you have to urinate often, but not much urine comes out when you do.
- You have pain in your lower belly.
- Your urine is cloudy, looks pink or red, or smells bad.
- You have pain on one side of your back under your ribs. This is where your kidneys are.
- You have fever and chills.
- You have nausea and vomiting.
- You have a fever, nausea and vomiting, or pain in one side of your back under your ribs.
- You have diabetes, kidney problems, or a weak immune system.
- You are older than 65.
- You are pregnant.
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There Are A Lot Of Variables To Consider When Diagnosing A Uti
Women who have had UTIs before most likely recognize their symptoms. However, something that causes you to urinate more frequently and causes discomfort isnt necessarily a UTI.
My first goal when speaking with a patient is to get as much information as I can, so I can determine the best diagnosis and treatment plan, says Dr. Talbott. Urinary tract infections can be confused with sexually transmitted diseases, or they can be more complicated if you have diabetes or other diseases that contribute to a suppressed immune system. It is also challenging when addressing a pediatric patient, or in the elderly with multiple complex health issues.
If youre experiencing fever, nausea, or pain, you most likely have a kidney infection. However, if you have thick white discharge, you might have a yeast infection. Blood in the urine may also suggest a bladder infection, while a discharge with a fishy odor may indicate bacterial vaginosis.
Giving your doctor as much information as you can helps him or her determine the most likely way to get you feeling better fast, says Dr. Talbott.