Updated: Jan 6
UTIs are a common type of infection, Dr. Alamelu on why they need to be treated promptly.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) as the name indicates are infections that affect your urinary system. The urinary system consists of the upper tract and the lower tract. The kidneys and ureters are part of the upper tract, and the urethra and bladder are considered as part of the lower tract. Typically, when dealing with UTIs the infection is in the lower urinary tract.
UTIs are a very common type of infection and can become serious only if left untreated. They respond to antibiotics, and so can be treated at an urgent care near me.
Here are answers to some of your most frequently asked questions about UTI’s.
What causes a UTI?
E. Coli bacteria are the primary cause of most urinary tract infections. It usually travels from the anus to the urinary tract via the urethra. This is why it's recommended that you wipe front to back after urinating. Having sex could also cause a UTI.
What are the symptoms that you should look out for?
Here are some common symptoms of UTI that you should pay attention to -
It burns when you urinate
You have pain in your lower abdomen or pelvic area
You have an urge to urinate more frequently than usual
You struggle to hold in your urine or urinary incontinence
Your urine has a foul smell
You feel fatigued or get a fever
Maybe you suspect a UTI, what happens if you don't get treatment?
If left untreated a UTI can have serious consequences -
It could lead to kidney infections – The bacteria can spread from the lower tract to the upper tract and you could end up with a kidney infection
Complications in pregnancy – UTIs in pregnant women have been known to cause premature birth and sometimes other complications
You could damage your kidneys – Frequent or long-lasting kidney infections can cause permanent kidney damage
It could lead to sepsis – Trust us, you don't want to get sepsis. If the bacteria enter the bloodstream, you can develop sepsis - a life-threatening blood infection and can lead to organ failure, shock, and coma.
You might have a UTI, now what?
Most of the time to get treatment for UTIs and in some cases even kidney infections you don't need to go to the ER. However, prompt treatment is critical. Waiting a long time to see a primary care physician could result in the infection spreading to your kidneys or, worse yet, traveling through your bloodstream. So an urgent care might be one of your best options to get treatment for a UTI.
Do you suffer from recurrent UTIs?
Some adults, mostly women, suffer from recurrent bladder infections. The best way to make sure that it's a UTI is through urine tests. Recurrent infections are also treated in the same way as a regular infection unless we're dealing with a particularly resistant strain of bacteria. If you continue to get frequent infections, further tests are warranted. See your provider at an urgent care or your primary care provider to make sure that you get the required treatment.
Get quality care, when you need it
We are dedicated to providing a comfortable environment for you to get the care that you need and reduce the stress of emergency care. Contact us by phone at (734) 249 6800 or learn more about the Care we provide.