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MDLIVE UTI Guide

UTI SYMPTOMS IN WOMEN – IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW.

If you’ve ever had a urinary tract infection – and if you’re a woman, chances are you have – you know they’re not fun. UTIs can make you feel an increased urge to urinate combined with a burning sensation, and these symptoms tend to reappear throughout the day. In fact, UTIs are the second most common type of infection in the body, leading to more than eight million visits to health care providers each year.

Urinary tract infections are also one of the most common conditions treated by MDLIVE doctors. Because of this, we decided to speak to Dr. Cindy Zelis, MDLIVE’s Chief Medical Officer, to learn all about UTIs.

GET THE FACTS ON UTIs.

When a urinary tract infection appears, you need to be prepared and know the causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

WHAT CAUSES A UTI?

According to the Mayo Clinic, urinary tract infections typically occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra. Your urinary system should keep these bacteria out, but sometimes, microscopic invaders, like E. coli, can enter your GI tract, which can then cause a urinary tract infection. But remember, when diagnosing a UTI, there are a lot of different variables to consider.

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COMMON SYMPTOMS OF A UTI INCLUDE:

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Knowing the symptoms of a urinary tract infection is essential, but there are many variables to consider when diagnosing a UTI.

Dr. Zelis’ Perspective

“My first goal when speaking with a patient is to get as much information as I can, so I can determine the best diagnosis and treatment plan. Urinary tract infections can be confused with sexually transmitted diseases, or they can be more complicated if you have diabetes or other diseases that contribute to a suppressed immune system. It is also challenging when addressing a pediatric patient or in the elderly with multiple complex health issues. Giving your doctor as much information as you can helps him or her determine the most likely way to get you feeling better fast.”

WHAT TREATMENTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR A UTI?

The most common treatment for a UTI is a course of antibiotics. After a few days of treatment, your symptoms should dissipate. If they don’t, and you’re still experiencing pain in your bladder, your doctor may also prescribe a pain medication to numb your bladder and urethra to relieve burning while urinating.

HOW CAN YOU GET HELP WITHOUT GOING TO A DOCTOR’S OFFICE?

In the past, getting treatment for a UTI meant a trip to the doctor’s office and suffering through your symptom until your appointment. Now, with telehealth services like MDLIVE, you can talk to a doctor by phone, online, or through our mobile app — wherever you are — in about 15 minutes or less.* And if you need a prescription, you can usually get it the same day.

Dr. Zelis’ Perspective

“When it comes to UTIs, there are tests a doctor can run – a urinalysis and culture – which can get quite expensive. However, if you’re a healthy female between the ages of 18 and 65 with the symptoms of a UTI and without any complications, these tests most likely aren’t going to change the initial treatment a doctor prescribes.

If your doctor sees anything complicated in your symptoms, it does make sense to do a urinalysis and possibly other laboratory tests. But in a majority of cases, it’s reasonable to initiate treatment and forgo the cost and inconvenience of testing, and delay in treatment, because most of the time it won’t change the antibiotic that’s prescribed.”

This makes telemedicine a more convenient and inexpensive way to get the treatment you need so you can feel better, faster.**

FOLLOW-UPS ARE IMPORTANT

Most patients with UTIs see improvement within a few days of beginning treatment, but that’s not always the case. Symptoms don’t always completely clear up within the average three to five days, making follow up care a must.

Dr. Zelis’ Perspective

“We have a 90% cure rate within three days. If your symptoms aren’t improving within three to five days, it’s important to follow up with your regular doctor so he or she can do a urinalysis or investigate further.”

Some women experience yeast infections after taking certain antibiotics, which is another reason to follow up if you’re not feeling better. “If you know you typically get a yeast infection whenever you take antibiotics, MDLIVE doctors may consider prescribing a medicine to prevent a secondary yeast infection at the same time as they prescribe your antibiotics for your UTI.”

PREVENTATIVE MEASURES THAT WORK.

Urinary tract infections tend to reoccur, but there are some steps you can take to prevent them. Emptying your bladder immediately after sexual intercourse and staying hydrated are two of the top ways to prevent getting a UTI.

Dr. Zelis’ Perspective

“Drinking a lot of water can also be very beneficial. It helps flush out bacteria and accelerate healing. You can also take cranberry tablets, which won’t necessarily cure a UTI but can help prevent an infection in the first place.”

Some women experience yeast infections after taking certain antibiotics, which is another reason to follow up if you’re not feeling better. “If you know you typically get a yeast infection whenever you take antibiotics, MDLIVE doctors may consider prescribing a medicine to prevent a secondary yeast infection at the same time as they prescribe your antibiotics for your UTI.”

If you’re suffering from a UTI, MDLIVE is here for you.
Click here to find out how you can get the care you need
from the comfort and safety of home.

*15 minutes is the average call-back time for an MDLIVE medical appointment.

**MDLIVE doctors can treat women between the ages of 18 and 65 who have uncomplicated urinary tract
infection cases. However, if you are male, under the age of 18, over the age of 65, experience recurrent UTIs,
or have complications like diabetes or other diseases that contribute to a suppressed immune system, you
should see your regular doctor.


Tags: UTI, UTI symptoms, UTI treatment, UTI causes, What causes UTI


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