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About Bladder infection

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A urinary tract infection (UTI) affects any portion of your urinary system, including the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. A bladder infection (also known as cystitis) is one of the most common forms of a UTI. Cystitis is characterized by an inflammation of the bladder, usually caused by a bacterial infection.

Symptoms of a bladder infection include:

  • A strong and persistent urge to urinate, even after you’ve just gone.
  • A burning sensation while urinating
  • Cloudy and strong-smelling urine
  • Blood in the urine
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Fever
  • Cramping in the abdomen

A bladder infection may be uncomfortable and irritating, and if it spreads to your kidneys, it can become a major health concern. Symptoms of a kidney infection include chills, fever, nausea and vomiting, and back or side pain.

Women are more at risk for bladder infections than men; however, men with an enlarged prostate may have a higher risk of infection due to urinary retention. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, talk to a doctor or health care provider right away. Bladder infections are common, and usually very treatable, but can cause complications if left unaddressed.

Treatment Options

Below is a list of common medications used to treat bladder infections, which a doctor or provider can prescribe to you for just $5 through SesameRx.

Please note that all prescriptions are at the discretion of your doctor.

Below are common treatment options for a bladder infection. During your appointment, talk to your doctor about what treatment plan is right for you.

FAQs

UTI Care

What is a UTI?

A UTI is an infection of the urinary system that often causes discomfort and painful urination.

UTIs often start in the lower urinary tract. Urethritis, a very common lower urinary tract infection, starts in the urethra. Lower tract infections can also originate or spread to your bladder, a kind of UTI known as cystitis.

Some UTIs can begin in the upper urinary tract, in organs like the uterus, ureters, or kidneys. While this is rare, kidney infections (also known as Pyelonephritis), could be life-threatening if left untreated.

When most people get a UTI, they experience what doctors call an uncomplicated infection. An uncomplicated urinary tract infection is temporary and not usually the result of any underlying conditions affecting the urinary system. However, people who suffer from recurrent UTIs--infections that happen over and over again--may be suffering from a blockage in the urinary tract. Specialists in urology call these chronic infections complicated UTIs. Sometimes, urologists will use a test called cystoscopy, which examines the inside of the bladder, to diagnose the cause of recurrent UTIs.

What are the symptoms of a UTI?

Urinary tract infections don't always cause signs and symptoms, but when they do they may include:
- Urge to urinate that is strong and persistent
- Urinating with a burning sensation
- Urine passing in little amounts on a regular basis
- Urine that has a hazy appearance
- Urine that is scarlet, bright pink, or cola-colored indicates that there is blood in it.
- Urine with a strong odor
- Pelvic discomfort, especially in the middle of the pelvis and around the pubic bone, is common in women.

How do you know if you have a urinary tract infection?

If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, you may have a UTI. Connect directly with a qualified doctor or urologist on Sesame to efficiently and securely get the answers to your questions and the care you need.

What is the most common cause of UTIs?

According to UCSF Health, 90% of all UTIs are caused by E. Coli bacterial growths. However, other species of bacteria - as well as viruses and fungi - can cause these infections.

What are some common causes and risk factors for UTIs?

Sexual Intercourse

UTIs are not STDs or STIs, but they can still be caused by sexual intercourse. Honeymoon Cystitis, for example, is a bladder infection that is often caused by sexual activity.

E. Coli is the type of bacteria that causes approximately 90% of uncomplicated UTIs. Sexual intercourse increases the risk that E. Coli or other bacteria could come into contact with the urethra, causing infection. This is particularly true for premenopausal women, as women's urethras tend to be shorter and located in closer proximity to the anus. The use of spermicides can also increase the risk of UTIs.

Urinating after engaging in sexual activity helps clear up the urinary tract and flush away bacteria, reducing the risk of UTIs.

Pregnancy

Pregnant women are at a greater risk of contracting UTIs. As a pregnant woman's uterus expands, it may press on her bladder, making it harder for urine to enter the bladder and increasing the risk of infection.

Menopause

Postmenopausal women are an at-risk population for different reasons. After menopause, lower estrogen levels, higher vaginal pH levels, and a decline in antimicrobial lactobacilli (the good kind, that is) all expose women to a higher risk of developing a UTI, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Infants

Infants are at risk of UTI, especially when they have dirty diapers or are improperly wiped from back to front. Good hydration and hygiene can help prevent urogenital infections in infants.

Enlarged Prostate

Men with enlarged prostates are also at greater risk for contracting a UTI, as a larger than normal prostate can block flow out of the bladder.

Chronic conditions

People with chronic conditions including diabetes are more likely to contract UTIs. People whose immune systems are compromised, including patients with HIV/AIDS, also experience an increased risk of UTI.

What abnormalities are associated with UTIs?

If you are experiencing recurrent urinary tract infections, see a medical professional to get to the bottom of the issue. Doctors qualified to treat UTIs in Brandon, FL list affordable cash prices on Sesame.

Abnormalities and complicated UTIs may also involve kidney stones. When kidney stones form they often start in the kidneys, but can grow in the uterus or bladder. Stones that block flow in the urinary tract can cause urine to back up into the kidneys, increasing pressure on the kidneys, which can be very damaging.

What type of doctors treat UTIs?

Primary care physicians and family doctors can often treat UTIs. In some cases, patients may be referred to urologists, who are specialists in the urinary tract - much like cardiologists specialize in the heart and virologists in infectious diseases. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases is the main regulator body that supports urological research.

How do doctors diagnose UTIs?

Doctors can diagnose UTIs by learning about your current symptoms and assessing your medical history and risk factors. In some cases, your urologist may request a urinalysis, a common test that looks for the presence of white blood cells (a key indicator your body is fighting an infection) in your urine sample. In some cases, a doctor may order a urine culture test, a more comprehensive examination of your urine sample.

You can tell a doctor all about your symptoms during a quick and easy consult on Sesame. Qualified urologists in your area can diagnose a number of conditions like UTI over secure video chat, and come up with a treatment plan that works for you today.

What are common treatments for UTIs?

Depending on the lab results of your urinalysis or urine culture test, your doctor may prescribe an over-the-counter antibiotic treatment for the UTI. These medications could include antibiotics like Amoxicillin/augmentin, ampicillin, ciprofloxacin (Cipro), nitrofurantoin, and trimethoprim/ sulfamethoxazole. All prescriptions, if necessary, are at your doctor's discretion.

Nitrofurantoin, for example, is used to treat bacterial infections, but not for viral or fungal infections. It is very effective at overcoming bacteria that can resist other antibiotics.

Trimethoprim/ sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim/Septra/SXT)is one of the faster treatments for UTIs. Bactrim can get the job done with two daily doses over a three-day course of antibiotics. However, Escherichia Coli (the most common cause of urinary tract infections) is increasingly resistant to sulfamethoxazole. Ampicillin fares worse than bactrim does against E. Coli, while nitrofurantoin is the most effective antibiotic at fighting common urologic infections.

Can UTIs go away on their own?

Urinary tract infections are common infections of the urinary system. UTIs can occur anywhere in the urinary tract - the urethra, bladder, kidneys, and ureters - but most commonly occur in the urethra and bladder. When a UTI infects and inflames the bladder, the condition is known as cystitis.

In many cases, a mild or moderate urinary tract infection can away on its own. If left untreated, however, UTIs may become more severe and lead to serious complications that could be potentially life-threatening. Because of this, doctors will prescribe antibiotics to kill the infection. Antibiotics can help UTI symptoms disappear in as little as a day or two.

If you are experiencing a persistent need to urinate, pain while urinating, or red or cloudy urine, you may be dealing with symptoms of a UTI. Get in touch with a urologist on Sesame to discuss your symptoms and discuss treatment plans. Urologists on Sesame can assess symptoms, prescribe medication, and create treatment plans for you. All urologists on Sesame are certified by the American Board of Urology.

How long does it take to flush out a UTI?

That depends. You might be able to flush out a UTI within 24-48 hours, especially with medical advice, but it most often takes three to five days. People who have complicated urogenital infections, caused by pregnancy or other longer-lasting urinary system blockages, may have to wait six to eight days. Symptoms often improve in the first one to two days of treatment.

What can you do about UTI without or before going to the doctor?

The (somewhat obvious) advantage of seeing a doctor is that a doctor can investigate the cause of your UTI. By finding the root of the problem, the doctor can also find the most effective solution. Doctors are available to diagnose and develop a treatment plan for you on Sesame--efficiently getting you the care you need from the comfort of your home, without any hidden charges.

In the meantime, the most common DIY remedy for urinary tract infections is cranberry juice--though the jury is still out on whether this actually works. Cranberries contain chemicals that help prevent bacteria, especially E. coli, from sticking to the urinary tract. But many researchers question whether cranberry juice contains enough of these chemicals to fight off UTIs. While there might not be a scientific consensus, cranberry juice definitely won't hurt you and is probably worth a try.

Drinking large quantities of water can also help. A Mayo Clinic healthcare provider found that liquid alone can be used to treat up to 50% of all UTIs. Consuming probiotics, like yogurts, may also help combat UTIs.

You may also be able to ease discomfort from UTIs by placing a heating pad on your lower abdomen if you have cystitis (if the infection is in your bladder).

How do antibiotics treat a UTI?

Most UTIs are caused by bacteria. Antibiotics work by killing the bacteria, eliminating the infection at its source.

If necessary, your doctor may write you a prescription for over-the-counter antibiotics to fight the infection. All prescriptions are at your doctor's discretion.

How long does it take for antibiotics to clear up a UTI?

It usually takes three to eight days for antibiotics to completely clear up a UTI, but symptoms often dissipate in one to two days.

What are the side effects of UTI treatment?

Side effects of antibiotic UTI treatment may include headaches, fever, rash outbreaks, nausea, vomiting, tendon ruptures, and nerve damage. Over-the-counter antibiotics are only issued by doctors, if necessary. Your doctor should speak with you about any potential side effects.

What is the fastest way to cure a UTI?

While home remedies like cranberry juice and heating pads may help ease some of your symptoms, the best way to cure a UTI is to see your health care provider. On Sesame, you can quickly connect with doctors in your area licensed to diagnose and treat UTIs - without having to drive to the nearest clinic.

Can I get my UTI medication at any pharmacy?

Yes. Your doctor can send the prescription to the pharmacy of your choice.

How can catheters be used to treat UTI?

Men with an enlarged prostate who experience UTI infections are often treated with the help of catheters. In these cases, catheters are used to drain the urine that is collecting in the bladder.

What do I do if I experience frequent infections?

Even though it’s normal to develop a urinary tract infection every once in a while, if you are experiencing persistent or recurring UTIs, your doctor may recommend additional action, including:
- Antibiotics at low doses, usually for six months but sometimes for longer.
- If you keep in touch with your doctor, you can self-diagnose and treat yourself.
- If your illnesses are caused by sexual activity, you'll only need one dose of antibiotic.
- If you're postmenopausal, vaginal estrogen therapy can help.

What is a urologist?

Urologists are medical doctors that specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions related to the genitourinary tract, which includes the urethra, bladder, kidneys, and ureters.

Urologists treat a diverse range of conditions affecting the unitary tract and genitals - including kidney stones, UTIs, prostate cancer, and more.

What is a pediatric urologist?

Pediatric urology is the field of medicine dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of urinary and genital conditions in children. A pediatric urologist has special training to provide a warm and comforting atmosphere for children and an advanced knowledge of common conditions that affect children.

Some urinary/ genital problems a pediatric urologist can help treat include:
- Incontinence (bedwetting and daytime accidents)
- Undescended testes
- Hernias
- UTIs
- Genital defects (such as urethral prolapse)
- Kidney stones
- Cancers of the urinary tract (bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer)


Because these conditions can be sensitive and possibly embarrassing, pediatric urologists focus on creating a safe space for children to receive treatment. Pediatric urologists can perform physical exams and diagnostic testing. If your child is dealing with problems related to the urinary tract or genitalia, you may consider getting a recommendation for a pediatric urologist from your primary care provider or family medicine physician.

Should I see a urologist for a UTI?

Yep! Urologists specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions related to the genitourinary tract, the fancy term for the reproductive and urinary organs. Because urinary tract infections are bacterial infections of urinary organs - the urethra, bladder, kidneys, and ureters - urologists are the most qualified doctors to provide treatment.

Connect on Sesame with real, quality urologists in Brandon, FL who can assess your condition, manage your symptoms, and craft a treatment plan that's right for you - all for one affordable, cash price. Save 60% when you book your next urology consult with Sesame.

How do I find a urologist near me?

Good news! Sesame is now offering convenient and affordable in-person and telehealth visits with urologists in cities across the country. Urologic doctors can provide consultations for low testosterone, vasectomies, kidney stones, urinary incontinence, UTIs (urinary tract infections), erectile dysfunction, men's health issues, and more. Whether you need medical advice or are looking for the treatment that's right, doctors on Sesame can help.

Sesame works directly with doctors - not insurance companies - to provide premium care without the premiums. You pay one price upfront for your health care. It's that simple. No copays or surprise bills, just clear, quality care at your convenience. Save up to 60% on your next urology visit when you book through Sesame - no insurance needed.

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