What to do if you think you have a UTI
A urinary tract infection is an infection in any part of the urinary system, the kidneys, bladder, or urethra. An infection can be quite painful, but the good news is that it can usually be easily diagnosed and treated. If you think you are suffering from a UTI, call us first! We can help you avoid an unnecessary trip to the ER and quickly get you on the path to recovery.
Symptoms of a UTI depend on what part of the urinary tract is infected.
Lower tract UTIs affect the urethra and bladder.
Symptoms of a lower tract UTI include:
- burning with urination
- increased frequency of urination without passing much urine
- increased urgency of urination
- bloody urine
- cloudy urine
- urine that looks like cola or tea
- urine that has a strong odor
- pelvic pain in women
- rectal pain in men
Upper tract UTIs affect the kidneys. These can be potentially life threatening if bacteria move from the infected kidney into the blood. This condition, called urosepsis, can cause dangerously low blood pressure, shock, and death.
Symptoms of an upper tract UTI include:
- pain and tenderness in the upper back and sides
UTI symptoms in men
Symptoms of an upper tract urinary infection in men are similar to those in women. Symptoms of a lower tract urinary infection in men sometimes includes rectal pain in addition to the common symptoms shared by both men and women.
UTI symptoms in women
Women with a lower tract urinary infection may experience pelvic pain. This is in addition to the other common symptoms. Symptoms of upper tract infections among both men and women are similar.
Treatment of UTIs depends on the cause. Your doctor will be able to determine which organism is causing the infection from the test results used to confirm the diagnosis.
In most cases, the cause is bacteria. UTIs caused by bacteria are treated with antibiotics.
In some cases, viruses or fungi are the causes. Viral UTIs are treated with medications called antivirals. Often, the antiviral cidofovir is the choice to treat viral UTIs. Fungal UTIs are treated with medications called antifungals.
If you think you have a UTI, call your Starling provider right away. Many of our offices offer same day sick visits. If you call after hours, our 24/7 on call service can help you determine next steps. Going to the ER for a UTI can cost you valuable time, money, and expose you to unnecessary germs.
Call us first and let us guide you!