More than 50 percent of women will experience a bladder infection, or UTI, in their lifetime and a common question we get at UM Urgent Care is, "Do I need to come in if I think I have a UTI?"

The short answer is: yes, anytime you're concerned about your symptoms you should visit a doctor. Left untreated, a bladder infection can travel to the kidneys and cause a serious illness.

So, here's the scoop on what to do if you suspect you have a bladder infection:

UTI Symptoms

Telltale symptoms of a UTI may include:

  • Cloudy urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Painful urination
  • Passing small amounts of urine
  • Pelvic pain
  • Urine with a foul smell

UTI Causes

UTI's happen when bacteria enters the bladder. There are certain risk factors causing bacteria to enter the bladder, including:

  • Anatomy
    • Women are more likely than men to get a UTI
    • Certain urinary tract abnormalities cause an increased risk of UTI
  • A recent urinary procedure
  • A weakened immune system
  • Catheter use
  • Menopause
  • Sexual activity
  • Some birth controls

Diagnosing a UTI

If you think you have a UTI, get seen by a medical professional. Typically, antibiotics help to clear a UTI quickly, which is why it's important to get treatment right away – especially before the infection spreads.

UTI Prevention

Water, water, water! Staying hydrated can help flush bacteria from the area. Other keys to prevent a UTI include:

  • Avoid irritating products in the genital area
  • Urinate soon after intercourse
  • Wipe from front to back

An urgent care clinic like UM Urgent Care is a great option if you think you have a UTI – we're open 8 am-8 pm every day (including weekends).