Urinary tract infection and UTI treatment at an urgent care
A UTI is an infection that affects your urinary system. The urinary system is divided into two tracts: the upper and lower tract.
- The upper tract includes the kidneys and ureters.
- The lower tract includes the urethra and bladder. Most kidney infections occur in this tract.
Urinary tract infections are one of the most common types of infections. Serious consequences can occur if a UTI is not treated. Fortunately, they’re treatable with antibiotics. This is why it’s important to get treatment at an urgent care near me.
What causes UTI?
- coli is the bacteria that cause most urinary tract infections. The urethra, the tube that transports urine from the bladder, is close to the anus. The bacteria resides there and can easily get from the anus, to the genital area, and then travel into the bladder. This is why women are advised to wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria from going to the genitalia.
For men, an enlarged prostate can prevent them from completely emptying their bladders, putting them at a higher risk for a urinary infection.
Being sexually active is another common cause of a UTI, as you can introduce bacteria into the urinary tract through birth control methods like condoms and spermicide. A weak immune system also makes a person more prone to getting a urinary tract infection.
Common UTI symptoms
Some of the common symptoms of a UTI include:
- A burning sensation when urinating
- A frequent urge to urinate
- Minimal but painful urine flow
- Urinary incontinence or an inability to hold your urine
- Cloudy urine
- Foul-smelling urine
- Pressure or pain in your lower abdomen or pelvic area
Surprisingly, some people don’t have any of the above symptoms. Unlike younger patients, older adults with UTI are more prone to experience confusion or disorientation.
Warning signs of a urinary infection that needs serious medical attention are fever, bloody urine, chills, shaking, and pain in the side or upper back. These may indicate that the bacteria have moved up further into the urinary system, affecting the bladder, and the kidneys. If you’re experiencing any of these danger signs, consult a doctor immediately.
Kidney infection vs UTI infection
When the bacteria from a urinary tract infection moves up to the kidneys, they develop an infection. Aside from UTI symptoms, a kidney infection also has the following symptoms:
- Pain in the back or side
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fever and chills
- Rigors (uncontrollable shivering and fever)
- Blood in the urine
The symptoms can go from bad to worse very quickly so immediate attention is necessary.
What happens to untreated UTI?
If you don’t get treatment for a UTI, it could lead to serious long-term complications, including:
- Kidney infection
- Premature birth and other complications in pregnancy
- Permanent kidney damage
Where to get UTI treatment near me?
Most cases of UTIs and even kidney infections are not severe enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room. However, it’s important to get relief and treatment as soon as possible.
Waiting a long time before seeking medical advice from a primary care physician could result in the infection spreading to your kidneys or, worse, entering the bloodstream. Instead of waiting for an appointment with your primary care doctor or paying the high costs of an ER to treat UTIs, visit an urgent care clinic instead to get immediate treatment.
What to do with UTI that keeps coming back?
Some adults, especially women, get bladder infections frequently. In this case, it’s important to confirm at least once that your symptoms are caused by a bladder infection. The best way to confirm an infection is through urine tests, including a urine culture.
Recurrent bladder infections are usually treated the same way as the initial infection unless your infection is known or thought to be caused by resistant bacteria. If you have antibiotic resistance, we may prescribe a different set of medications.
If you continue to get bladder infections, you may require further testing. There’s a possibility that you might have an abnormality in your kidneys, ureter, bladder, or urethra, or you might have a kidney stone.
Tests for these conditions may include imaging tests, such as a computed tomography scan or CT scan, an ultrasound, or a cystoscopy, which involves looking inside the bladder with a thin, lighted telescope-like instrument.
If you continue to notice blood in your urine after your bladder infection has cleared, you might need to get tested for other medical conditions.