Urinary Tract Infection

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UTIs Explained: Symptoms, Treatment, & Prevention Tips.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common annoyance, causing burning urination, frequent bathroom trips, and discomfort. While not life-threatening, leaving a UTI untreated can lead to complications. At Healthcare Express, we understand how frustrating UTIs can be. That's why we offer fast and convenient care to get you feeling better quickly.

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What is a UTI?

A UTI is an infection that occurs when bacteria enter the urinary tract, which includes your kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. The most common type of UTI is a bladder infection (cystitis).

Symptoms of a UTI:

  • Pain or burning sensation when urinating

  • Frequent urination, even at night

  • Feeling the urge to urinate even after going

  • Pelvic pain or pressure

  • Cloudy, bloody, or strong-smelling urine

Fast and Easy Treatment for UTIs

At Healthcare Express, we offer efficient UTI treatment options:

  • Walk-in Visits: We have convenient walk-in hours, so you don't have to wait for an appointment to feel better.
  • Virtual Visits: Schedule a virtual visit with a healthcare provider from the comfort of your home.

During your visit, a healthcare provider will diagnose your UTI and prescribe medication if needed. They can also provide helpful tips to prevent future infections.

What Happens if Left Untreated?

Left untreated, a UTI can spread to the kidneys, leading to a more serious infection. Symptoms of a kidney infection can include fever, chills, nausea, and back pain. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to prevent complications.

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UTIs in Different Age Groups:

While UTIs can affect anyone, certain groups are more prone:

Urinary Tract Infection FAQs

  • Can a UTI go away on its own?

    While it's possible for a UTI to go away on its own, it's not very likely and not recommended to wait and see if it clears up without medical attention. Here's why:

    • Low likelihood of resolution: According to health experts, the chance of a UTI resolving on its own is very low. This is because UTIs are caused by bacteria, and antibiotics are typically needed to eliminate the infection.
    • Risk of complications: Leaving a UTI untreated can lead to serious complications, such as:
      • Kidney infection: If the bacteria from the bladder travel up the ureters to the kidneys, it can cause a kidney infection, which can be much more serious and require hospitalization.
      • Antibiotic resistance: If you frequently have UTIs and take antibiotics without a proper diagnosis, the bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics, making future UTIs more difficult to treat.

    Therefore, it's always best to see a doctor if you think you have a UTI. They can diagnose the infection, prescribe the appropriate antibiotics, and monitor your progress to ensure the infection clears up completely.

  • Are UTIs contagious?

    No, UTIs are not contagious. You cannot catch a UTI from another person through casual contact, kissing, sharing a toilet seat, or swimming pools.

  • How long should I take OTC medication?

    You should not take over-the-counter UTI medication like cranberry caplets for more than 3 days.

    Over-the-counter UTI medications, such as phenazopyridine (Pyridium), only relieve symptoms like pain and burning but do not treat the underlying infection. Taking them for longer than recommended can mask the infection and make it harder to diagnose and treat properly. It can also lead to antibiotic resistance.

    If you suspect you have a UTI, it is important to see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. They can prescribe you antibiotics to treat the infection and help prevent complications.

  • Can you have sex with a UTI?

    It is generally not recommended to have sex with a UTI (urinary tract infection) for a few reasons:

    • Increased discomfort: Sex can irritate the already inflamed tissues in your urinary tract, making symptoms like burning and pain during urination even worse.
    • Slowed healing: Sexual activity may push bacteria further into the urethra, potentially worsening the infection and delaying healing.
    • Risk of re-infection: Sex can introduce new bacteria to the urinary tract, increasing the chance of another UTI.
    • Potential spread (not common): While UTIs aren't sexually transmitted infections (STIs), it's possible to transfer some bacteria to your partner during sex, increasing their risk of UTI as well.
  • How do you know if you have a kidney infection?

    While both urinary tract infections (UTIs) and kidney infections involve the urinary tract, they affect different parts and often have distinct symptoms. However, it's important to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment, as they can easily overlap. Here's a general comparison:


    • UTI:
      • Pain or burning during urination
      • Frequent urination, even in small amounts
      • Urgent need to urinate (urgency)
      • Lower abdominal pain or pressure
      • Cloudy, bloody, or foul-smelling urine
    • Kidney infection (may also include UTI symptoms):
      • Fever and chills
      • Nausea and vomiting
      • Severe pain in the flank (lower back or side)
      • Malaise (general feeling of unwellness)

    Additional factors:

    • Sudden onset: Kidney infections often come on suddenly, while UTIs can develop gradually.
    • Previous UTIs: Having frequent UTIs increases the risk of developing a kidney infection.