Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, can be a painful nuisance, but they're very common. They occur more often in women due to the shorter length of women's urethras. If you feel like you constantly need to urinate, and you feel pain or burning during urination, you may be suffering from a UTI.
1. Drink lots of water.
If you suspect you have a UTI, you should make an effort to increase your water intake. According to Coloplast Care, drinking a lot of water can help to rinse unwanted bacteria from your bladder. Since UTIs are caused by bacteria colonizing the urethra and bladder, this can be helpful in keeping your UTI from worsening.
2. Make yourself comfortable with over-the-counter treatment.
Until you can see a doctor, you'll want to make yourself as comfortable as possible. Phenazopyridine hydrochloride is a nonprescription drug that can relieve the pain of a UTI. Remember that although you may feel better while taking this drug, it won't cure your infection. You should still seek medical treatment as soon as you can. Phenazopyridine hydrochloride will dye your urine a bright orange color, so you should not take it right before you go to the doctor, as it eliminates your doctor's ability to test your urine for a UTI.
3. See a doctor as soon as possible.
Never ignore the symptoms of a UTI because if left unchecked, UTIs can become dangerous kidney infections. Time is of the essence when treating this infection, so if you come down with a UTI on a weekend when your doctor's office is closed, you should visit your local urgent care center. UTIs are quick and easy to diagnose. The doctor will take a sample of your urine and test it for signs of infections. They'll then prescribe you antibiotics to eliminate the infection. Remember to take all of your antibiotics, even if you're feeling better before you finish them.
4. Follow up with your normal doctor.
If you were treated at an urgent care center, the doctor will instruct you to follow up with your normal doctor within a week to make sure your infection has cleared up. If you get UTIs frequently, your doctor may be able to write you a prescription for UTI antibiotics that comes with refills. This will save you a trip to the doctor in the future if your symptoms return, but this is usually only presented as an option to people with chronic urinary tract infections.