Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are the most common bacterial infections in women. Approximately 50% of women will experience at least one urinary tract infection in their lifetime. Typical urinary tract infection symptoms can consist of pain with urination, abnormal color or odor to urine, and abdominal pains. While other symptoms such as back pains and fevers can be seen with urinary tract infections, they are less common symptoms.
While many symptoms can seem like a urinary tract infection at first, there are several other conditions that can present with similar symptoms. Because of this, our office policy is that any patient complaining of urinary tract infection symptoms must have a scheduled appointment with a physician so that he/she can examine the patient and the patient can then have their urine evaluated by the lab to confirm that a urinary tract infection is present BEFORE prescribing antibiotics. This prevents you from taking medication that you may not need and ensures that you are being treated for the correct condition. Furthermore, in women with frequent urinary tract infections, there can be underlying issues with the urinary system or even bacteria that can be resistant to many common antibiotics. Because of this, your urine may be cultured, which is where we test to see which antibiotics the bacteria will respond to.
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If you are diagnosed with a urinary tract infection it is important to complete all of the antibiotics you are prescribed to decrease the chances that the bacteria causing your urinary tract infection do not become resistant to that medication. This is true even if your symptoms resolve before completing your medication. If you are treated for a urinary tract infection and your symptoms do not improve, or start to worsen, it is important to call our office to let your doctor know this.