Should You See Your OBGYN if You Have a UTI?  

Should You See Your OBGYN if You Have a UTI?  

Infectious bacteria can enter the body through the urinary tract, which may result in a urinary tract infection (UTI). If you experience any of the symptoms described below, you should see your doctor promptly, to obtain a diagnosis and the appropriate UTI treatment for your individual needs. The information below is provided by your Weill Cornell gynecologist NYC, to inform you of the steps you should take for the fastest relief from symptoms of a urinary tract infection.

Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms

One or more symptoms may be caused by a urinary tract infection, including:

  • Persistent sensation of need to urinate
  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Frequently passing very small amounts of urine
  • Urine that is cloudy, pink, brownish, bright red in appearance

UTI Diagnosis

If your doctor determines that you may have UTI symptoms, he or she may perform one or more diagnostic tests:

  • Urine Sample — A laboratory analysis may be conducted, to assess bacteria, or red or white blood cells.
  • Bacteria Sample — A sample of bacteria may be examined to determine the kind of bacteria causing the UTI, and which medications are needed.
  • Imaging — In case of frequent UTIs, an ultrasound, MRI or CT Scan can help identify the cause.
  • Cystoscopy — In case of recurring UTIs, examination of the urethra and bladder may be performed using a narrow scope.

UTI Treatment

The medication prescribed by your doctor, and duration of UTI treatment are based on your health condition and the type of bacteria in your urine. Your doctor may prescribe one of the following commonly used antibiotics to treat a common urinary tract infection.

  • Cephalexin
  • Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole
  • Fosfomycin
  • Nitrofurantoin
  • Ceftriaxone

UTI symptoms typically disappear in the first few days of treatment. However, it is necessary to complete the entire course of antibiotics, which may take a week or more. In some cases, based on your health condition and the level of the UTI infection, treatment may only be necessary for up to three days.

For a Severe UTI

A hospital stay for UTI treatment with intravenously administered antibiotics may become necessary for an extreme urinary tract infection.

Depending upon your doctor’s analysis, you may be referred to a urologist, a specialist in urinary problems, or to a nephrologist, a specialist in kidney disorders, for additional evaluation.

For Frequent UTI

If you experience frequent UTIs, your doctor may prescribe:

  • Low-dose antibiotics — treatment for six months or more
  • One dose of antibiotic — following sexual intercourse (if sex is the cause of the UTIs).
  • Vaginal estrogen therapy — in some cases of UTIs after menopause
  • Self-diagnosis and treatment — while keeping in contact with your physician

Home Treatment for UTI

To alleviate UTI discomfort or pain until antibiotics have eliminated the infection, you should:

  • Drink a lot of water — Dilute the urine, to help flush out bacteria from the urinary tract.
  • Don’t drink fluids that can irritate you bladder — Avoid soda, coffee and other caffeinated beverages, alcohol, and citrus juices during your UTI. These can increase the sense of need to urinate.
  • Apply a heating pad — Use a warm temperature setting (instead of hot). Place the warm pad on across your abdominal area, to help reduce bladder pressure or discomfort.

Beliefs About Alternative UTI Treatment

There are continuing studies of the potential of cranberry juice in preventing UTI, but research outcomes have not been conclusive so far.

IMPORTANT: Patients taking warfarin or other medications for blood-thinning should not drink cranberry juice.

Weill Cornell Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology

Weill Cornell is the Cornell University medical school and research facility. The Weill Cornell OBGYN center is recognized for providing world-class women’s healthcare services. For more information about UTI diagnosis and treatment, contact your Weill Cornell gynecologist NYC, to schedule an appointment for an examination.

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