What Do You Do When You Think You Have a UTI?

More than 50% of women will experience a bladder infection, or UTI, in their lifetime and a common question we get at ChoiceOne is “do I need to come in if I think I have a UTI?”

The short answer is: yes, anytime you’re concerned about your symptoms you should visit a doctor.  Left untreated, a bladder infection can travel to the kidneys and cause a serious illness.

So, here’s the scoop on what to do if you suspect you have a bladder infection:

Your symptoms: telltale symptoms of a UTI may include painful urination, frequent urination, passing small amounts of urine, pelvic pain, cloudy urine, or urine with a foul smell.

Why it happened: UTIs happen when bacteria enter the bladder.  There are certain risk factors causing bacteria to enter the bladder such as sexual activity, some birth controls, menopause, catheter use, anatomy (women are more likely than men to get a UTI, plus certain urinary tract abnormalities mean an increased risk of UTI), a weakened immune system, or a recent urinary procedure.

What to do: if you think you have a UTI, get seen by a medical professional.  Typically, antibiotics help clear a UTI quickly which is why it’s important to get treatment right away – especially before the infection spreads.

How to prevent it: water, water, water! Staying hydrated can help flush bacteria from the area.  Other keys to prevent a UTI include:

  • Wipe from front to back
  • Urinate soon after intercourse
  • Avoid irritating products in the genital area

An urgent care clinic like ChoiceOne is a great option if you think you have a UTI – we’re open until 8 pm every day (including weekends!).