About Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are common infections that can affect the bladder, the kidneys and the tubes connected to them.
Anyone can get them, but they’re particularly common in women. Some women experience them regularly .
UTIs can be painful and uncomfortable, but usually pass within a few days and can be easily treated with antibiotics.
This page is about UTIs in adults. There is a separate article about UTIs in children.
This page covers:
Can Doctors Treat Utis Via Telemedicine
Telemedicine is an increasingly popular method of treating UTIs. In addition to being convenient, its also discreet and frequently more affordable than an in-office visit.
Since doctors cant collect a urine specimen via telemedicine, they will typically make their diagnosis using a series of questions that identify and analyze your symptoms. Your telehealth provider will also want to know if you have a history of UTIs, as well as if there are any other factors that may complicate your UTI, such as pregnancy or a chronic health condition.
Ultimately, the fact that UTIs are extremely common assists physicians in their ability to accurately diagnose and treat UTIs online. In the event that your UTI symptoms present themselves as more severe or as something else entirely, your telemedicine professional will instruct you to visit another physician in the office for a follow-up or to perform a urinalysis. Most of the time, however, your telehealth provider can diagnose your infection and prescribe antibiotics via video alone. Certain telehealth providers may be able to fill your prescription as well, which can save you the expense of going through a pharmacy.
Data Extraction And Quality Assessment
One reviewer extracted study characteristics and outcome data from included trials. We contacted two authors for subgroup data on postmenopausal women. One author replied and provided relevant outcome data. Two reviewers independently assessed the risk of bias of the included studies using the Cochrane Collaborations risk of bias tool. Disagreements were resolved through discussion. We used RevMan V.5.3 to meta-analyse the data and generate forest plots.
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Why Should I Take The Full Course Of Antibiotics
Antibiotics start to work against the infection quickly, and you may start to feel better within a few days. However, it takes longer for the antibiotics to completely kill the bacteria causing the infection.
When you dont finish your antibiotic treatment, theres a chance that the bacteria isnt eliminated completely, which may cause repeat infection. Or the bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics and stop responding to treatment in the future.
How Are Most Utis Diagnosed
There are several ways that your physician can diagnose a UTI. To provide the best antibiotic treatment for UTI, he or she needs to determine the location of the infection and whether your UTI is complicated. He or she also needs to rule out other conditions that present similarly to UTI, such as vaginitis or certain sexually transmitted diseases.
Most UTIs are diagnosed via urine test. In some instances, your healthcare provider may also order blood cultures and a complete blood count. These test results will confirm the type of bacteria, virus or fungus thats causing the infection.
Bacteria is to blame for the vast majority of UTIs, and theyre treated using a wide range of antibiotics. In rarer cases, where a virus is behind the infection, antivirals such as cidofovir are prescribed. Fungal UTIs are treated with antifungals.
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Uti Gone Get The Green Light From The Doctor
Great, you have been taking your antibiotics regularly as prescribed and finally finished your UTI treatmentnow what? Head back to the docs office! Youll have to take another pee test to make sure youre officially rid of that awful UTI. Never assume your urinary tract infection magically vanished on its own, because bacteria is sticky, and isnt easily removed from the urinary tract. Better yet, head to the store to pick up a cranberry supplement, they help flush the urinary tract!
Make sure to get the proper treatment for a UTI from your doc, and once you know your UTI is gone, take cranberry to help maintain a healthy urinary tract.
Helps inhibit the progression of infection until you see a health care professional. AZO is not intended to replace medical care.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Discuss With Your Doctor If Some Of Your Uti Symptoms Persist After Antibiotics
Here are several questions that you should think about prior to your doctor visit to help your physician with the right information:
- Are your symptoms stronger when the bladder is full and you feel better after urination?
- Does a certain position trigger bladder pain?
- Do you feel that your symptoms stay the same over the course of days and even weeks?
- Is there blood in your urine, foul smell, or is your urine cloudy?
- If youd like more help on how to discuss your UTI with your provider and how to make the most out of your patient-doctor relationships, check out my Actionable Guide here.
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Latest Antibiotics For Utis
- Vabomere is a combination carbapenem antibiotic and beta-lactamase inhibitor. Vabomere was first approved in August of 2017.
- Vabomere is used for the treatment of adult patients with complicated urinary tract infections due to susceptible Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter cloacae species complex.
- Vabomere is given as an intravenous infusion every 8 hours. Dosage adjustments are required in patients with varying degrees of kidney impairment.
- Zemdri is an aminoglycoside antibacterial for the treatment of complicated urinary tract infections, including pyelonephritis. Zemdri was first approved in February of 2015.
- Zemdri is used against certain Enterobacteriaceae in patients who have limited or no alternative treatment options. Zemdri is an intravenous infusion, administered once daily.
See also: Treatment Options for UTIs
Living With Urinary Tract Infections
If you have 3 or more urinary tract infections each year, your doctor may want you to begin a preventive antibiotic program. A small dose of an antibiotic taken every day helps to reduce the number of infections. If sexual intercourse seems to cause infections for you, your doctor many suggest taking the antibiotic after intercourse.
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What Is A Urinary Tract Infection
If you have ever experienced the frequent urge to go the bathroom with painful and burning urination, you have probably experienced a urinary tract infection . UTIs are one of the most common types of infections, accounting for over 10 million visits to health care providers each year. Roughly 40% of women experience a UTI at some time, and in women, it is the most common infection. Healthcare costs related to UTIs exceed $1.6 billion per year.
A urinary tract infection can happen anywhere along your urinary tract, which includes the kidneys , the ureters , the bladder , or the urethra . Most UTIs occur in the bladder and urethra. Common symptoms include frequent need to urinate, burning while urinating, and pain in lower abdomen area.
There are different types of UTIs based on where the bacteria goes. A lower urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria gets into the urethra and is deposited up into the bladder — this is called cystitis. Infections that get past the bladder and up into the kidneys are called pyelonephritis.
Urinary tract infection symptoms may include:
- Pain or burning upon urination
- A frequent or urgent need to urinate
- Passing small amounts of urine
- Blood in the urine or or pink-stained urine
- Urines that looks cloudy
- Strong-smelling urine
- Pain, cramping in the pelvis or pubic bone area, especially in women
Upper UTIs which include the kidney may also present with symptoms of fever, chills, back or side pain, and nausea or vomiting.
Why Your Uti Test May Be Negative Even When You Have Symptoms
How about a study that looked at bacterial DNA in the urine of women with UTI-like symptoms who also had a negative culture test?
To summarize, the researchers looked at urine samples of women without symptoms and a group with UTI-like symptoms. They performed two tests: a culture test and a DNA-sequencing test that allows identifying if there is any bacterial DNA in the urine.
According to the study, 90.5% of symptomatic women with a negative urine culture tested positive for Escherichia coli bacteria with molecular methods compared to about 5.3% of women without symptoms.
This allowed the researchers to conclude that culture tests might not be sufficiently accurate and if a patient complains of urinary tract infection symptoms, she might as well be treated for an acute UTI.
The findings are gaining traction among chronic UTI sufferers who feel that the study finally gives more credibility to their complaints.
However, argues Dr. Hawes the significance of finding bacterial DNA may be different than the significance of finding live growing bacteria. Does the DNA stay around after an infection? If so, for how long? How do you determine antibiotic sensitivity based on DNA findings rather than live growth?.
As Dr. Hawes concludes, We dont yet understand the clinical significance of this data. In other words, do not dismiss the results of your culture test because of this study.
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How Long Can It Take A Uti To Clear Fast Without Antibiotics
Fortunately, a few tested methods of natural treatment and prevention have worked immensely well for some patients. Even to the extent that they no longer worry about the UTI re-occurring.
These types of treatments dont require prescriptions, they are not expensive, and they are completely drug-free. Some doctors may not be aware of them, I really hope this article will help you completely avoid UTIs, or at least largely reduce their persistence and severity.
However, the application of natural treatments, for a normal UTI, has proven to be effective. Such treatment may take the space of 3 days for women and 7 to 14 days for men to clear. The time frame is slightly different for anyone who is pregnant or has diabetes or has a mild kidney infection. For this group of people, treatment often takes 7 to 14 days.
Option #: Persistent Uti Symptoms After Treatment
Here is another option: they sent your urine sample to a lab and later told you that according to the test you have a UTI. However, antibiotics resolved some symptoms , but the urge to urinate or pain in the lower abdomen remained.
As you could imagine, there could be a scenario when not only you have a full-blown UTI, but also an inflamed bladder lining is causing additional symptoms, as discussed above.
In this case, you, most likely, will see a reduction in pain, and your urine will become clear. However, pain in the bladder area and slight irritation after urination might still linger.
Moreover, when patients mention they feel burning in the urethra rather than the bladder, its quite normal. In fact, the urethra has more nerve endings that could be easily irritated due to underlying inflammation.
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Preventing Future Urinary Tract Infections
BATHING AND HYGIENE
To prevent future urinary tract infections, you should:
- Choose sanitary pads instead of tampons, which some doctors believe make infections more likely. Change your pad each time you use the bathroom.
- Do not douche or use feminine hygiene sprays or powders. As a general rule, do not use any product containing perfumes in the genital area.
- Take showers instead of baths. Avoid bath oils.
- Keep your genital area clean. Clean your genital and anal areas before and after sexual activity.
- Urinate before and after sexual activity. Drinking 2 glasses of water after sexual activity may help promote urination.
- Wipe from front to back after using the bathroom.
- Avoid tight-fitting pants. Wear cotton-cloth underwear and pantyhose, and change both at least once a day.
The following improvements to your diet may prevent future urinary tract infections:
- Drink plenty of fluids, 2 to 4 quarts each day.
- Do not drink fluids that irritate the bladder, such as alcohol and caffeine.
Some women have repeated bladder infections. Your provider may suggest that you:
- Use vaginal estrogen cream if you have dryness caused by menopause.
- Take a single dose of an antibiotic after sexual contact.
- Take a cranberry supplement pill after sexual contact.
- Have a 3-day course of antibiotics at home to use if you develop an infection.
- Take a single, daily dose of an antibiotic to prevent infections.
Urinate When The Need Arises
Bacteria in the urinary tract is always under pressure during frequent urination. This can help to clear them out.
It also brings down the amount of time that bacteria in the urine are exposed to cells in the urinary tract. Urinating at the right time usually reduces the risk associated with attaching and forming an infection.
It is advisable to always urinate as soon as possible when the urge comes in order to help prevent and treat UTIs.
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Im Pregnant How Will A Uti Affect My Baby
If you have a UTI and it isnt treated, it may lead to a kidney infection. Kidney infections may cause early labor. Fortunately, asymptomatic bacteriuria and bladder infections are usually found and treated before the kidneys become infected. If your doctor treats a urinary tract infection early and properly, it wont hurt your baby.
When To See A Doctor
If youre experiencing symptoms consistent with a urinary tract infectionpainful urination, abdominal discomfort, frequent urge to pee, or blood in your urineseek out medical advice.
Your doctor is a resource to help you understand what type of UTI you have, how severe it is, and the best course of action for treatment. The good news is that your discomfort can be over in a matter of days if you take steps now to address it.
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Option #: Uti Symptoms Return After Antibiotics
Another story is when your urine test did show a UTI. You then took antibiotics, felt completely fine, but several days later woke up with the same nasty UTI symptoms.
Here two options are possible: we were unable to eliminate the infection completely or it is reinfection, says Dr. Hawes if only 2-3 days elapsed since treatment and symptoms recurred, most likely we were not able to clear the infection. However, if you get an infection 2-3 weeks after your last antibiotic treatment, count it as reinfection.
How Long Do Kidney Infections Last
If the bacteria from a bladder infection make their way up to your kidneys, you’ve got a more serious situation. A kidney infection can take up to 14 days to resolve with treatment, says AUA.
Unlike a simple bladder infection, a kidney infection’s not going to resolve on its own. You’ll need a longer course of antibiotics, often through an IV for a couple of days before switching to an oral version, AUA explains.
You might have a kidney infection if you have symptoms of a UTI, plus chills, fever, and/or pain in your back, side, or abdominal area. These are red flags to get care right away. This type of UTI can cause permanent damage to your kidneys and even lead to sepsis, an extreme immune response that can be deadly.
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How To Feel Better
If your healthcare professional prescribes you antibiotics:
- Take antibiotics exactly as your healthcare professional tells you.
- Do not share your antibiotics with others.
- Do not save antibiotics for later. Talk to your healthcare professional about safely discarding leftover antibiotics.
Drink plenty of water or other fluids. Your healthcare professional might also recommend medicine to help lessen the pain or discomfort. Talk with your healthcare professional if you have any questions about your antibiotics.
Are There Natural At
Yes. While taking antibiotics is still considered the gold standard of UTI treatments, there are some things you can do at home that help relieve symptoms, as well. These include:
- Drink plenty of water. Consuming at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily can help flush away UTI-causing bacteria, setting you up for a quicker recovery. Plus, the more you drink, the more youll have to urinate.
- Urinate often. Each time you empty your bladder, youre helping to flush bacteria out of your system.
- Try heat. Applying a heating pad to your pubic area for 15 minutes at a time can help soothe the pressure and pain caused by UTI-related inflammation and irritation.
- Tweak your wardrobe. Wearing loose cotton clothing and underwear can help you recover from a UTI.
- Go fragrance-free. Make sure your personal hygiene products are fragrance-free to sidestep further irritation, notes the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
- Cut out certain irritants. Caffeine, alcohol, spicy food, raw onions, citrus fruits, carbonated drinks, artificial sweeteners, and nicotine can further irritate your bladder, making it more difficult for your body to heal, per the Cleveland Clinic.
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Can You Treat A Uti Without Antibiotics
Antibiotics are an effective treatment for UTIs. However, the body can often resolve minor, uncomplicated UTIs on its own without the help of antibiotics.
Complicated UTIs will require medical treatment. These UTIs involve one or more of the following factors:
- changes in the urinary tract or organs, such as a swollen prostate or reduced flow of urine
More severe risks of using antibiotics include: