UTI: Should I go to ER or Urgent Care?

UTI: Should I go to ER or Urgent Care?

May 01, 2023

UTIs (urinary tract infections) are a common health issue affecting many adults. The most prevalent cause is often bacteria. The infection can occur due to several potential causes, such as improper hygiene practices. However, antibiotics remain among the foremost available treatments for treating UTIs.

UTIs affect more women than men but can occur in both genders. Although UTIs are not life-threatening, you can seek immediate treatment in Temple if you experience painful urination or passes small amounts of urine.

Infections may cause painful urination and burning while urinating. They can also lead to complications like permanent kidney damage or pyelonephritis (a severe kidney infection).

You should seek urgent treatment near you if you have symptoms of a UTI.

When should I go to the ER for a UTI?

UTIs can target any area of the urinary system, including kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Generally, these infections are caused by bacteria that enter the urethra and make their way up to the bladder. The infections can be very painful and uncomfortable, leading to serious complications if untreated.

Symptoms of a UTI can include:

  • A strong, persistent urge to urinate
  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • Passing small amounts of urine frequently
  • Urine that appears cloudy or bloody
  • Pelvic pain in women
  • Rectal pain in men

See a healthcare provider right away if you have these symptoms. You should visit an emergency room near you if you have a fever or severe abdominal pain. Otherwise, you can typically visit an urgent care center for treatment.

Your doctor may collect a urine sample to determine whether you have a UTI and what bacteria are present. They’ll do a urinalysis test, which looks for bacteria and blood cells in your urine.

Treatment

The treatment for recurrent UTIs varies depending on the severity of your symptoms and the test result. Antibiotics can be used to treat your UTI, which kills bacteria that cause infections. They can be taken by mouth or injected into your body. These drugs are available at your doctor’s office or an urgent care center.

Antibiotics should be taken as soon as possible after symptoms begin, but it’s important to remember that antibiotics do not cure UTIs — they only treat them. You may need to take antibiotics for several days or weeks to ensure that all the bacteria are destroyed.

If you have a mild infection or your symptoms improve after taking an antibiotic, you may not need additional treatment unless your symptoms recur within two weeks.

A simple UTI typically responds well to a short course of antibiotic meds, and the pain and urge to urinate often go away after 2 to 3 days. Following the prescribed treatment is important to ensure your infection is completely clear.

If you have a complicated UTI, your doctor may recommend intravenous antibiotics at a hospital. This is the first step to help get the infection under control quickly.

Alternatively, your doctor may prescribe an oral antibiotic you take by mouth. The type of antibiotic and how long you take it will depend on your symptoms and medical history. A urine culture can also help your doctor choose the right antibiotic for you and reduce your risk of bacterial resistance.

Prevent Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common and uncomfortable problem for many people. Fortunately, it is preventable using a few steps. Taking measures like drinking plenty of fluids, avoiding certain foods and drinks, and practicing good hygiene can help keep UTIs at bay. Furthermore, it’s best to avoid using feminine products on the genital area. This includes deodorant sprays, douches, and powders, which can irritate the urethra.

By understanding the causes of UTIs and taking proactive steps to prevent them, you can protect yourself from the pain and discomfort they can cause.

Schedule an Appointment

Visit Express Emergency Room Temple for assistance if you experience painful urination or fever.

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