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How to Recognize UTI Symptoms

If you’re experiencing painful and frequent urination, you may have a urinary tract infection (UTI), commonly referred to as a bladder infection. UTIs are caused by bacteria growing in the bladder, and there are more than 3 million cases in the United States every year.

Most UTIs occur in adult women. In fact, women are 10 times more likely to get a UTI than men.

What Are UTI Symptoms?

Typical UTI symptoms in women and men include the following:

  • Burning during urination

  • Urinating more frequently than normal

  • More frequent urges to urinate

  • Bloody or cloudy urine with an odor

  • Occasionally fever, chills, and back pain

How Do I Find Out If I Have a UTI?

If you are experiencing UTI symptoms, visit your healthcare provider for an examination and urine test. This is especially important if you are experiencing fever, chills, and back pain, which can signal a more serious infection.

What About UTI Treatment?

For immediate relief from a UTI, take over-the-counter pain relievers and drink lots of water — even if that’s the last thing you want to do. It may be uncomfortable to pee, but all that water will help flush the bacteria from your body.

Your health care provider will likely prescribe antibiotics to combat the infection and may also recommend Pyridium (Generic Name:  Phenazopyridine) for pain, which is available over-the-counter. (Note: This medication will turn your urine bright orange.) Once you start antibiotic treatment, you can expect to feel better within a day or so.

Although some people have found relief from UTI symptoms by drinking cranberry juice, studies have shown mixed results for its effectiveness.

What Happens If a UTI Is Left Untreated?

A UTI is an infection. If left untreated, it could spread to the kidneys, which may require hospitalization. So if you are experiencing any UTI symptoms, it’s wise to see your healthcare provider or visit an urgent care clinic to get tested.

How to Prevent a UTI

Although UTIs aren’t 100 percent preventable, you can lower your risk of getting one by following these tips:

  • Empty your bladder completely and as soon as you feel the urge to go.

  • Women should pay special attention to wipe from front to back after using the bathroom.

  • Take more showers than baths.

  • Women should avoid feminine hygiene sprays, scented douches, and scented bath products, which can increase irritation.

  • Cleanse your genital area before and after sex.

  • Urinate after sex to flush away any bacteria that may have entered your urethra.

  • Keep your genital area dry by wearing cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes. Tight jeans and nylon underwear can trap moisture, creating the perfect environment for bacteria growth.

If you are experiencing UTI symptoms, visit your local GoHealth Urgent Care. No appointment is necessary, and you can pre-register for your spot online for fast UTI treatment.

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