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UTI Pain Treatment Overview

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Care Plan


First steps to consider

  • See a healthcare provider because UTIs need to be treated with antibiotics.
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Symptom relief

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  • Help symptoms by drinking water, taking OTC pain relievers, drinking cranberry juice, and taking vitamin C.
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Emergency Care

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  • If you develop a fever or severe flank pain, go to the ER or urgent care

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All treatments for UTI pain
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When to see a medical provider

If you have symptoms of urinary tract infection (UTI), get evaluated by a healthcare provider as soon as you can—within 24–48 hours. Try drinking a lot of water and cranberry juice to help flush out the infection. If your symptoms are getting worse, see a doctor that day,

A fever, worsening lower abdominal pain, and severe flank pain may be signs that the infection is getting worse. You should get immediate medical attention at an urgent care or emergency room.

Contact your healthcare provider at the first signs of a UTI if you are immunocompromised or pregnant.

How do doctors test for UTI?

Many women can tell when they have a UTI. But it’s still important to get a urine test so the healthcare provider knows which bacteria is causing the infection and the best antibiotic to prescribe.

There are two types of urine tests:

  • A urinalysis looks at microscopic characteristics of the urine to figure out the likelihood of an infection. You can get the results almost immediately.
  • A urine culture is when the bacteria from the urine is grown to find out what kind it is and the antibiotics that should work best. A culture takes around 2–3 days.
  • If you have more severe symptoms, your provider may order blood tests to check your kidney function or look for signs of a more widespread infection.
  • There are OTC UTI tests that you can do at home.They look for white blood cells in your urine, which can be a sign of an infection but is not a definitive diagnosis.

What to expect from your visit

  • A healthcare provider will test your urine to see if you have a UTI and the type of bacteria you have.
  • They may start you on an antibiotic before getting back the urine culture results. Depending on the results, they may change your antibiotic.
  • Since there are many similarities between UTIs and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), you may be asked about your sexual history and possibly be tested for an STI.

Prescription UTI medications

  • Antibiotics include nitrofurantoin (Macrobid), amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin, and bactrim
  • Phenazopyridine (Pyridium) for pain with urination

Types of providers

Many different specialists can treat UTIs.

  • Primary care providers (both adult and pediatric)
  • OB/Gyns specialize in women’s health.
  • Urgent care or emergency room providers
  • Genitourinary specialists such as urologists or urogynecologists. These specialists are usually for people with a complex history of UTIs.
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