A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection anywhere in your kidneys, ureters, bladder, or urethra. It’s very common, and around 40% of women and 12% of men get at least one UTI in their lifetimes.
The primary symptoms of a UTI are pain, a frequent urge to urinate, and a burning sensation with urination. Most UTIs don’t pose a serious threat to your health, and mild infections may even clear up without antibiotics. Despite this, you should never ignore UTI symptoms.
UTIs can cause a handful of serious complications if the infection starts to spread. The good news is that treating UTIs and lowering your risk of complications is simple and effective.
So if you think you have a UTI, don’t wait to schedule a doctor’s appointment. Our acute care team at Medical Associates Of North Texas in Fort Worth is equipped to diagnose your UTI and prescribe treatment so you can get back to your life quickly.
The risks of waiting to treat your UTI
There’s always a certain level of bacteria present in your body. But sometimes, bacteria can build up or get trapped, and cause an infection to develop.
UTIs develop when too much bacteria collects somewhere in your urinary system. Both women and men can get UTIs, but they’re much more common among women. That’s because female anatomy, sexual activity, and menopausal changes can all increase bacteria in and around your urinary system.
While it might be tempting to ignore UTI symptoms and hope the condition goes away on its own, doing so could put you at risk of:
UTIs are painful, and the pain can be significant. You might feel pain in your pelvic area, your bladder, your abdomen, or your lower back. Along with pain, your symptoms might include:
- Persistent urge to urinate
- Pain with urination
- Passing a small amounts of urine
- Cloudy urine
- Pink, red, or brown urine
- Strong-smelling urine
If you try to ignore your symptoms and delay treatment, the infection can get worse. As the infection worsens, your symptoms may also worsen until it’s impossible to ignore any longer.
Sometimes, UTIs can spread infection to other parts of your body and pose more dangerous health risks. An untreated UTI can travel to your kidneys. Kidney infection can cause permanent kidney damage or lead to sepsis, which is a life-threatening complication of infection.
If you’re pregnant and you develop a UTI, avoiding treatment can increase your risk of premature birth or having a baby with a low birthweight.
Unfortunately, having one UTI can also increase your risk of future UTIs. Some people develop chronic UTI, which is an infection that keeps coming back even after treatment.
What to do if you have a UTI
The complications of UTI can be serious, but prompt treatment is an effective way to lower your risk. If you notice symptoms of a UTI, schedule an acute care appointment with our team.
We diagnose most UTIs with a urine analysis, and you get your results while you wait in the office. If we find an infection, we typically prescribe antibiotic medication. For chronic UTI, we may prescribe low-dose antibiotics for a longer period of time.
You can expect to start feeling better within a few days of starting the antibiotic. Even if your symptoms go away, continue taking the medication as prescribed. Completing your doses is the best way to ensure the infection is gone.
Ignoring a UTI isn’t worth the risk. Get a prompt diagnosis and expert care at Medical Associates Of North Texas. Call our office at 972-433-7178 or send us a message online to get started.