Why do you need UTI tests? A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of your urinary system- this could be your kidneys, bladder, or urethra, but most are in the kidneys or bladder.
UTI’s are common and usually are easily treated with the appropriate antibiotics if diagnosed early. Bacteria around the anal or genital areas can travel to the bladder and cause an uncomfortable infection and UTI symptoms. Anything that brings bacteria in contact with your urethra can cause a UTI and subsequent discomfort.
Women are much more likely to get a UTI because they have shorter urethras and bacteria have easier access to the bladder. They don’t spread from person to person like a sexually transmitted infection (STI), but having sexual intercourse can still cause UTIs. If it isn’t treated, the infection can reach your kidney and cause fevers, chills, nausea, more intense pain in the groin and low back, and become serious very quickly. Getting a telemedicine consultation for UTI ensures you are better safe than sorry.
If you think you have a UTI lookout for the following common symptoms and get yourself a telemedicine UTI package with a prescription included if indicated:
Burning during urination
Frequent/ intense urge to urinate, with little actual urination
Blood tinged or cloudy urine (could appear pink)
Feeling tired, week, or confused (particularly in the elderly)
Pain in the pelvic area (lower abdomen or back)
If you have urethritis, which is an infection in the urethra, you could have the UTI symptoms of burning while urination with or without discharge. This type of UTI can occur when GI bacteria spread from the anus to the urethra, but can also be caused by STIs such as gonorrhea or chlamydia. These infections are treated very differently, so it’s very important to get medical attention ASAP to ensure appropriate therapy.
An infection in the bladder is called cystitis and can cause UTI symptoms of lower abdomen pain, pelvic pain or pressure, frequent/ uncontrollable urination, and blood in the urine. This is usually caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli), which is commonly found in the gastrointestinal tract. As mentioned above, women are more prone to this type of UTI because of the short distance from the urethral opening to the bladder and the anus.
If the infection spreads to the kidney, this is called pyelonephritis. This commonly presents with symptoms consistent with cystitis with additional pain in the low back, fevers, chills, nausea, or vomiting.
Many women experience more than one infection during their lifetimes.
Common risk factors include:
Sexual activity: Sexually active women tend to have more UTIs because sex can cause bacteria to travel. Having a new sexual partner also increases risk. This can sometimes be prevented by having both partners shower before intercourse and urinating immediately after intercourse.
Some types of birth control: You are at higher risk if you use diaphragms or spermicidal agents for birth control.
Menopause: The decline in circulating estrogen can make you more vulnerable to getting a UTI.
*Reviewed and approved by Dr. Rob Lapporte
If you think you have UTI symptoms, get telemedicine consultations for UTI now and get a prescription if appropriate within just minutes…without ever leaving your home! UTI test strips and telephone consultation with a physician included in the base price. Please also check out our telemedicine packages for flu, strep and anemia.