I Have a UTI: What Should I Do?

Apr 03, 2023
 I Have a UTI: What Should I Do?
Pain with urination and foul-smelling urine are signs of a urinary tract infection — but what should you do next? Take a moment to discover the next steps in treating your urinary tract infection to prevent further pain and complications.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common infections that happen to both men and women. They can affect various areas of your urinary system, including your urethra, bladder, and kidneys.

Although a UTI might not seem serious, it requires treatment from a medical professional. At Prudent Medical Providers, our team of three experienced nurse practitioners provides you with fast and efficient treatment for various medical problems, including UTIs.

Symptoms of a UTI

Urinary tract infections happen when bacteria enter your urethra from your rectum or skin. The bacteria cause an infection in the urinary tract, often affecting the bladder (cystitis) and, less commonly, the kidneys (pyelonephritis).

UTIs are more common in women due to the structural differences in their sexual organs. However, men can get these infections, too.

Some UTIs don't cause symptoms, while more severe infections cause various issues. If you have a UTI, you may experience any of the following:

  • Cloudy urine
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Flank pain
  • Pelvic pressure
  • Painful urination
  • Urinary frequency
  • Urinary urgency
  • Blood in your urine

You may also have a fever, chills, or vomiting with more severe infections, especially if it involves your kidneys or bladder.

When to see a doctor for a UTI

You must make an appointment with our team if you have a UTI. A UTI typically won't clear up and requires a medical diagnosis and treatment.

When you come in for an appointment, our team reviews your symptoms to determine the extent of your infection. They also provide you with a urinalysis and a urine culture to determine the type of bacteria causing your infection.

We may order an ultrasound or cystoscopy for repeated infections to determine if an injury or other condition is causing your infections. Treating a UTI is crucial because, if left untreated, it can lead to severe complications like sepsis.

Treatments to expect

When you suspect a UTI, our team evaluates your urine and symptoms to determine the cause of the problem. If we diagnose you with a UTI, you'll need antibiotics to clear the infection.

Antibiotics are medications that attack bacteria to treat the underlying infection. We use various types of antibiotics to treat specific types of bacteria causing your UTI.

It's imperative that you take the entire course of antibiotics. If you don't take all your medications, the infection can return and worsen.

Our team may also prescribe you medication to ease discomfort with urination. You should take this medication only as directed. Your symptoms should improve after several days of antibiotics.

UTI prevention tips

Whether this is your first UTI or you're prone to these infections, you must learn how to prevent them in the future. A few of the tips our team gives you to keep your urinary tract healthy include:

  • Drinking a lot of water
  • Always wiping front to back
  • Urinating immediately after sex
  • Changing your birth control methods
  • Urinating frequently
  • Not using a douche or irritating products

You can also avoid wearing tight clothing or cotton underwear to keep the area around your urethra dry. Loose clothing prevents bacteria from getting trapped close to your urethra, which could cause a UTI.

Call Prudent Medical Providers at our convenient Federal Way and Tacoma, Washington, locations for immediate UTI treatment. You may also schedule an appointment online or send the team a message on the website.