A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of your urinary system — your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Most infections involve the lower urinary tract — the bladder and the urethra.
If you have ever felt a burning sensation while trying to urinate, you may have a urinary tract infection. These infections are severely painful, and they can pop up seemingly out of nowhere. If you believe you may have a urinary tract infection, read on. You may need medical attention.
What Causes Urinary Tract Infections?
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) occur after bacteria gets trapped in your urinary system, typically the urethra. The bacteria can spread into your bladder and kidneys. Because women have a shorter urethra, they are more likely to contract these infections than men.
How does that bacteria get there in the first place? Typically, UTIs occur when bacteria transfers during sexual intercourse or when you wipe after using the bathroom. After you contract the infection, you may notice painful urination, urges to urinate frequently, cloudy urine, smelly urine, or bloody urine.
How Do Doctors Treat Urinary Tract Infections?
An untreated UTI can have long-lasting side effects, so you should seek treatment right away. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to fight the infection. When you take the antibiotics as prescribed, you will see the infection diminish in a matter of days, and you will feel relief as the pain disappears.
Unfortunately, your doctor may not be available to meet with you right away. Perhaps you feel pain outside of office hours or you simply can’t get an appointment until next week. The good news is you do not have to live in pain until then. You have options.
When Do You Need to See an Urgent Care Provider?
You should see an urgent care provider if you are unable to obtain an appointment through your normal doctor. You should come in when you feel painful urination that persists, even after you drink more water. Do not let the UTI last for days or weeks before you seek help.