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Can You Go to Urgent Care for a UTI?

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Reviewed by: Amy Surdam

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common and can form in any part of the urinary system. Infections often occur in the lower urinary tract, which includes the urethra and bladder. When the condition develops in the kidneys or ureters, it’s called an upper UTI.

Prompt medical treatment prevents the potential spread of infection and additional health issues. Learn to recognize the symptoms of a UTI, when to seek care and how to find an urgent care provider for treatment.

UTI Symptoms

Some common signs of a UTI include:

  • An ongoing and urgent need to urinate.
  • Frequent urination in small quantities.
  • Pink, red, cloudy or bad-smelling urine.
  • Pain in the pelvic area or a painful burning during urination.

Signs of upper UTIs in particular can include:

  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Pain in the sides or back.
  • Fever and chills.

Causes of a UTI

A UTI occurs when bacteria passes through the urinary tract and grows within the bladder. Some factors that can increase the likelihood of infection include:

  • Anatomy, such as a short urethra or abnormality in the urinary tract.
  • Estrogen level changes, including menopause.
  • Regular catheter use.
  • Urinary tract blockages, such as kidney stones or an enlarged prostate.
  • Sexual activity, especially with a new partner.
  • Recent surgery or procedure on the urinary tract.
  • Some birth control measures, such as diaphragms and certain spermicides.
  • Compromised immunity due to a medical condition.

When to Go to Urgent Care for a UTI

No matter how mild your symptoms are, you should see a medical provider if you suspect you have a UTI. Prompt treatment will help you feel better and prevent the infection from getting worse. Serious cases of infection can lead to higher recurrence rates, kidney damage or urethral narrowing.

You should seek treatment immediately if you have nausea or vomiting, pain in your back or sides, or high fever and chills.

How to Treat a UTI

Most UTIs require a course of antibiotics to clear. More severe cases may call for therapies with intravenous fluids and antibiotics. For those who are pregnant or have serious symptoms, a provider may prescribe a longer course of antibiotics. Your provider may also recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever to help ease discomfort. 

You can support your body through treatment by staying hydrated, eating healthy foods and getting enough rest. If your symptoms worsen or do not improve with the antibiotics, let your provider know.

How Long Does a UTI Last?

UTI symptoms often begin to improve in a few days with treatment. Generally speaking, more serious cases take longer to clear. You should always follow your provider’s instructions for taking your medication, even if you start to feel better.

Find a Coastal Urgent Care Clinic Near You to Get Treatment for a UTI

If you think you have a UTI, the team at Coastal Urgent Care is here to help. We’re open seven days a week and offer extended hours for the compassionate, professional treatment you deserve. Visit any of our Louisiana clinics and trust our providers to help you feel your best again.