Urinary Tract Infection
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What is a Urinary Tract Infection?
A urinary tract infection, or UTI, occurs when bacteria—usually E. coli—enters the urinary system through the urethra, causing an infection in the bladder. If left untreated, the infection can spread to your kidneys. UTIs are incredibly common, especially in women, and can reoccur.
Symptoms of a UTI
Symptoms of a bladder infection may include:
- Frequent urination
- Strong urge to urinate
- Frequently urinating small amounts
- Pain or burning with urination
- Seeing blood in your urine
Symptoms of a kidney infection may include the bladder infection symptoms listed above, plus:
- Pain in your mid back, usually on one side
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Severe fatigue
UR Medicine's Treatments for Urinary Tract Infection
You can seek care for a UTI from your primary care provider, local urgent care, or via on-demand video visits. Depending on the severity, the provider may refer you to a urogynecologist or urologist. Catching and treating a UTI as soon as possible can help keep the infection from spreading or worsening.
Evaluation for a bladder or kidney infection may include a general physical exam, a pelvic exam if needed, and a urine test. If you are not able to provide a urine sample for any reason, a small catheter may be placed into the bladder to collect your urine for testing.
Testing may include:
- A urine dipstick may be performed in your doctor’s office. It screens the urine for white blood cells, red blood cells, protein, and nitrates—all of which are typically present when there is an infection. Results are available immediately.
- A urinalysis is a screening test performed in a lab that also counts the number of white and red blood cells in the urine. Results are typically available within a few hours.
- A urine culture is the best way to diagnose a bladder or kidney infection. This test can identify whether bacteria are present in the urine, what type of bacteria, and how many. It will also help identify the best antibiotic for treatment. Results are typically available in 24-72 hours.
Bladder infections are typically treated with 3-7 days of antibiotics. It can take a day or two after starting the antibiotic for your symptoms to improve.
Your provider may prescribe a pain reliever called phenazopyridine (Pyridium) that can help with symptoms of pain with urination, increased urge to urinate, and frequent urination. You can also try over the counter medications like AZO and drinking more water to help with these symptoms.
If you are diagnosed with frequent bladder infections, you may be referred to a urogynecologist or urologist for further evaluation. Frequent bladder infections are diagnosed when you have more than 3 urinary tract infections within 1 year.
What Sets Us Apart?
UR Medicine offers the most current treatments, guided by advanced research and the expertise of nationally recognized physicians. Our extensive clinical network allows patients across the Rochester region the convenience of receiving high-quality care close to home.
For UTI treatment, we encourage you to visit your primary care physician or local UR Medicine urgent care facility. If referred to a urogynecologist or urologist, the UR Medicine Adult Pelvic Health & Continence Care program offers custom-tailored treatment options for each patient.
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Rochester, NY 14623