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A urinary tract infection (UTI), also known as cystitis, is an infection in any part of the urinary system, which includes the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. Women are especially prone to UTIs, in part because they have shorter urethras than men. More than half of women will get a UTI at some point.
Most UTIs are caused by the bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli), which usually lives harmlessly in the gut but can enter the urinary tract through the urethra. Other bacteria can also cause UTIs, but they are less common.
Healthcare professionals usually treat UTIs with oral antibiotics to kill the bacteria causing the infection.
Urinary tract infections can affect the kidneys, bladder, or urethra. Depending on which part of your urinary tract is affected, you may have different symptoms. In general, UTI symptoms can include:
Pain or burning when urinating
Bloody or strange-smelling urine
Pain or discomfort in the lower belly, abdomen, or lower back
Pelvic pain or pressure
Additional signs of a UTI include fever, chills, nausea, or fatigue.
Most UTIs happen when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra. The two most common UTIs are urethra infection and infection of the bladder.
Women have specific risk factors that make them more prone to developing UTIs. These include anatomical differences (having a shorter urethra than men) and menopause-related changes to estrogen levels. Women are also more likely to develop a UTI from sexual activity and from using certain types of birth control, such as a diaphragm.
Our online doctors are usually able to make a diagnosis and prescribe antibiotics for UTI based on your described symptoms alone. You may need to provide a urine sample, which your doctor will use to determine which bacteria are causing the bladder or urethra infection. We partner with LabCorp for in-person lab tests.
Your healthcare provider may also order imaging tests for UTI or procedures to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms, such as a sexually transmitted infection. Our licensed clinicians will let you know if additional tests/procedures are needed to make a diagnosis, such as a test for STI.
Urinary tract infection (UTI) treatment usually involves UTI antibiotics. You may start to feel better in as little as one or two days. You may even get same-day relief. But you should take your UTI medication as prescribed. If you stop taking them too soon, your urinary tract infection symptoms could come back.
Get effective treatment for a UTI without an in-person doctor’s visit. Our online healthcare providers can prescribe medications to help you get relief from your UTI. Medications we prescribe include:
After treatment, it is important to have regular appointments with your healthcare provider as well as performing self-monitoring to ensure there are no ongoing signs or symptoms of infection, such as painful urination or discharge.
Knowing what causes a UTI can help you avoid recurring UTIs. Women should drink plenty of fluids (especially water), always wipe from front to back, and pee as soon as possible after having sex.
Avoiding irritating feminine hygiene products, such as scented tampons and douches, can also help prevent UTIs. If you get recurring UTIs and you use a diaphragm and/or spermicides, talk to your doctor about birth control alternatives.
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Most UTIs are caused by bacteria that enters the body through the urethra. If the germs make their way into the bladder, they can cause a bladder infection.
Women are more likely to get UTIs because they have shorter urethras than men. Other factors can also increase a woman’s risk of getting a UTI, including certain types of birth control and menopausal-related hormone changes.
Mild cases of UTI sometimes clear up without antibiotics, but most don’t. Online UTI treatment for women is fast and easy. CallonDoc offers same-day prescriptions to help you get relief from your UTI. Keep in mind that untreated UTIs can lead to severe complications, including kidney damage or sepsis.
Most UTIs go away within 7-14 days. Depending on the type of UTI you have, it could take more or less time. If your doctor prescribes UTI medications such as antibiotics for UTI and you don’t start to feel relief after 3-5 days of taking your medication as directed, contact us for a follow-up.
You may be able to get treated for your UTI without a urine sample. During your UTI treatment online consultation, your doctor may be able to write a prescription for antibiotics based on your symptoms alone.
It depends on the severity of your infection, as well as other factors. Antibiotics treatment generally takes 2 to 14 days. Some people even experience same-day relief. However, you should not stop taking your antibiotics before being directed by your doctor, even if you feel better. This could cause your symptoms to return.
Some patients experience rash, nausea, headaches, or diarrhea in connection with antibiotics use. For most people, the benefits far outweigh the side effects. Inform your doctor if you experience any side effects.
An untreated UTI can lead to a more serious infection of the kidneys. If you experience severe symptoms such as side pain or back pain, fever/chills, nausea, vomiting, confusion, or dizziness, get emergency care.