A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that occurs in any part of the urinary system (e.g., kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra). Bacteria, specifically E. coli bacteria that live in the bowel, are the most common cause of UTIs.
Unfortunately, UTIs are one of the most frequent clinical infections in women, accounting for nearly 25% of all infections. Between 50-60% of all women will experience a UTI in their lifetime.
Can urgent care treat UTI?
The good news is that UTIs are curable and urgent care can help. When you visit State Urgent care, our caring and skilled medical professionals can quickly diagnose and treat your infection so you can start feeling like yourself again. We have an on-site lab, so we can perform a urinalysis (a test of your urine) and provide you with same-day diagnosis and treatment.
We understand that when you’re struggling with the painful symptoms of a UTI, the only thing you want to do is feel better. You shouldn’t have to wait for a doctor’s appointment. That’s why we offer fast, convenient care after business hours and on weekends.
State Urgent Care is open for walk-in appointments 7 days a week.
When treated promptly and with the proper antibiotics, simple UTIs rarely lead to complications. UTIs that are left untreated, however, can have serious health risks like recurrent infections, permanent kidney damage, and sepsis, which is a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection, especially if the infection worsens and affects the kidneys.
What are the symptoms of UTI?
UTIs don’t always cause signs and symptoms but often include:
- A strong, persistent urge to urinate
- A painful burning sensation when urinating
- Passing frequent, small amounts of urine (which can be more painful than when passing larger amounts of urine, so it’s important to stay hydrated)
- Urine that appears cloudy
- Urine that appears red, bright pink, or cola-colored (which are all signs of blood in the urine)
- Strong smelling urine
- Pelvic pain (in women)
What are the treatment options for UTI?
Antibiotics are typically the first line of defense when treating a simple UTI. The most commonly used medications are Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (e.g., Bactrim or Septra), Fosfomycin (Monurol), Nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin, Macrobid), Cephalexin (Keflex), and Ceftriaxone.
Typically, the most egregious symptoms of a UTI clear up within a few days of starting treatment, but it’s important to take the entire course of antibiotics as prescribed to ensure the infection is completely cleared.
Can you effectively treat a UTI at home?
While most all UTIs require a course of antibiotics, there are a few things you can do to help alleviate your symptoms until you can get to an urgent care clinic:
- Stay hydrated
Drinking plenty of fluids not only helps remove bacteria from your urinary tract but also helps lessen the painful, burning sensations while urinating.
- Drink unsweetened cranberry juice
Cranberry juice helps stop bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract.
- Take vitamin C
Increasing your vitamin C intake helps make your urine more acidic, which helps kill infection-causing bacteria.
How can you prevent a UTI?
Here are a few important habits you should develop to help prevent UTIs:
- Drink plenty of fluids every day to dilute your urine and urinate more frequently. This helps flush bacteria from your urinary tract before an infection can begin.
- Wipe from front to back every time. This helps prevent bacteria in the anal region from going into the vagina and urethra.
- Empty your bladder and drink a full glass of water before intercourse and urinate soon after intercourse to help flush bacteria from your urethra.
- Avoid irritants like deodorant sprays or other feminine products, like douches and powders, as they can irritate the urethra.
- Change pads and panty liners every 3-5 hours to help keep extra bacteria from entering the urethra.
- Avoid diaphragms, unlubricated condoms, and spermicide-treated condoms, as they can all contribute to bacterial growth.
Safe, effective, and fast urgent care UTI services are available 7 days a week at State Urgent Care. We recommend visiting at the first signs of infection to avoid more severe symptoms of pain and discomfort.