Get Treatment for Your Urinary Tract Infection ASAP

Stop What You’re Doing and Get Treat­ment for Your Uri­nary Tract Infec­tion ASAP

It’s been hap­pen­ing all day: You have been run­ning to the bath­room every few min­utes with the urge to pee. Half of the time, you feel an intense burn­ing when you go. The oth­er half of the time, noth­ing comes out at all — despite the fact that you feel like your blad­der is about to explode.

And now, as you feel cramps com­ing on in your low­er abdomen, you know exact­ly what it is: a uri­nary tract infec­tion (UTI).

The uri­nary tract is the sys­tem in your body that is respon­si­ble for get­ting rid of urine, and clear­ing excess flu­id and waste from your body. UTIs occur when bac­te­ria make their way into the ure­thra (the tube that drains urine) and infect your uri­nary tract.

UTIs are very com­mon — they’re actu­al­ly the sec­ond most com­mon type of infec­tion in the human body. And, in most cas­es, they aren’t seri­ous. How­ev­er, they can become seri­ous if you don’t get treat­ed. So if you’re usu­al­ly a let’s ride this out and see what hap­pens” type of per­son, lis­ten up: This is one of those times when it’s not worth it to wait and see.

Here are 5 rea­sons why it’s best to get a UTI diag­nosed and treat­ed ASAP.

1. An Untreat­ed UTI Could Turn Into a Kid­ney Infection

If bac­te­ria doesn’t clear out of your uri­nary tract, it could make its way up into your kid­neys — the bean-shaped organs that sit on both sides of your spine under your rib cage, and are respon­si­ble for fil­ter­ing out waste from your body.

While kid­ney infec­tions result­ing from UTIs are fair­ly uncom­mon — about 1 in 30 UTIs become a kid­ney infec­tion — they are serious. 

Untreat­ed kid­ney infec­tions can become life-threat­en­ing emer­gen­cies. They can also turn into chron­ic (long-last­ing) infec­tions, and cause per­ma­nent kid­ney dam­age. UTIs caused by kid­ney stones or enlarged prostate glands that go untreat­ed are prone to kid­ney dam­age if the infec­tion doesn’t go away. 

Also read, When Care Can’t Wait: When to Vis­it an Imme­di­ate Care Cen­ter Instead of the Emer­gency Room

2. Or, It Could Lead to Sepsis

While also not too com­mon, sep­sis is a poten­tial­ly life-threat­en­ing con­se­quence of an untreat­ed UTI.

Sep­sis is when your body has an extreme reac­tion to an infec­tion. If it’s not treat­ed imme­di­ate­ly, it can quick­ly cause tis­sue dam­age or organ fail­ure, and can even be fatal. 

3. It May Not Be a UTI After All — But It Still Needs to Be Treated

Symp­toms of UTIs can over­lap with oth­er con­di­tions, so what you think is a UTI might be some­thing else entire­ly. If you delay or skip treat­ment, you may miss out on get­ting diag­nosed with some­thing that needs your attention. 

For exam­ple, pain while uri­nat­ing is a com­mon symp­tom of UTIs, but it’s also a symp­tom of gon­or­rhea (a sex­u­al­ly trans­mit­ted infec­tion). If you don’t treat gon­or­rhea, you can pass it on to oth­er sex­u­al part­ners, as well as risk per­ma­nent health prob­lems like infertility.

Oth­er symp­toms of UTIs could actu­al­ly be signs of chron­ic health con­di­tions. For instance, if you’re always run­ning to the bath­room, your fre­quent uri­na­tion could be a symp­tom of type 2 dia­betes — a con­di­tion that needs to be diag­nosed ear­ly on to pre­vent seri­ous complications. 

If you’re con­cerned that you may have a UTI, vis­it a Duly Health and Care Imme­di­ate Care Cen­ter or make an appoint­ment with your pri­ma­ry care provider as soon as you can. If you have recur­rent UTIs (2 or more infec­tions in 6 months, or 3 or more infec­tions in one year), make an appoint­ment with a urologist.

4. You Might Be Pregnant

Fre­quent uri­na­tion might be a clas­sic sign of a UTI, but it could also be an ear­ly sign of pregnancy.

While preg­nan­cy isn’t going to stay under the radar for too long, it’s best to know as soon as you can so that you can start pre­na­tal care and begin tak­ing pre­cau­tions, like not drink­ing alcohol.

5. You Don’t Deserve to Be in Pain

The right med­ica­tion can seem like a life­saver when you’re in the throes of a UTI.

If you are not preg­nant and are oth­er­wise healthy, you can most like­ly be treat­ed with a short course of antibi­otics. The antibi­otics are quick to work — typ­i­cal­ly, symp­toms ease with­in just 1 or 2 days of start­ing them. Your provider may also give you a sec­ond med­ica­tion called phenazopy­ri­dine that numbs your uri­nary tract so you can get more imme­di­ate relief before your antibi­otics kick in. (Just don’t be alarmed when you look in the toi­let — it’s nor­mal for phenazopy­ri­dine to turn your urine bright orange).

The soon­er you see your provider, the soon­er you can get your symp­toms under con­trol and breathe a sigh of relief.

Health Topics:

  • My philosophy of care is to provide a complete picture as much as possible and to provide an expert opinion of the options available for comprehensive care.