If you’ve ever experienced the discomfort of needing to constantly rush to the bathroom, you’re far from alone. It can be frustrating, disruptive to your daily life, and even embarrassing. If you find yourself frequently needing to urinate, accompanied by a burning sensation or discomfort, you might be wondering if you have a urinary tract infection (UTI).
Read on as Drs. Ines Munoz De Laborde and Svetlana Burkhead explore the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for UTIs, as well as when it's time to seek medical help here at Physicians Medical Urgent Care in San Jose, California.
UTIs are a common condition that primarily affects your bladder, urethra, and, in some cases, your kidneys. UTIs occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract and multiply, leading to an infection. They can affect individuals of all ages and genders, although they are 30 times more prevalent in women due to anatomical differences.
UTIs are caused by bacteria 一 most often Escherichia coli (E. coli) 一 which normally reside in your gastrointestinal tract. The bacteria can enter your urinary tract through the urethra and multiply, leading to an infection. Other potential causes include sexual activity, poor hygiene, hormonal changes, urinary tract abnormalities, or the use of certain birth control methods.
You might suspect your frequent trips to the bathroom are related to a UTI if you notice the following symptoms:
If you find yourself needing to urinate more often than usual, especially if it's accompanied by only small amounts of urine, it could be a sign of a UTI.
Feeling a strong and immediate need to urinate, even if you've just emptied your bladder, is a typical symptom of a UTI.
Pain or burning sensation
A burning sensation or pain during urination is one of the classic signs of a UTI. It may also be accompanied by a sense of discomfort in the lower abdomen.
Cloudy or strong-smelling urine
If your urine appears cloudy, has a strong odor, or contains blood, it could indicate a UTI.
Fatigue or general malaise
In some cases, UTIs can cause symptoms like fatigue, general weakness, or a feeling of being unwell.
When to seek help for frequent urination
If you suspect you have a UTI, it's essential to seek medical attention to confirm the diagnosis and receive appropriate treatment. As an urgent care facility offering a full suite of services, we’re more than well-equipped to handle UTIs and can provide prompt care.
Because some of these symptoms, such as burning sensations, can be signs of other conditions or sexually transmitted diseases, it’s important to start with an accurate diagnosis. Our team asks about your symptoms and medical history, performs a physical examination, and may request a urine sample for analysis. This analysis helps identify the specific bacteria causing the infection and determine the most effective treatment approach, which usually involves antibiotics.
Although UTIs can be challenging to prevent entirely, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of developing an infection:
Drinking plenty of water helps prevent UTIs by flushing out bacteria from your urinary tract. Some people drink unsweetened cranberry juice to help prevent UTIs, but it doesn’t treat an active infection. Regardless, focus on staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Maintain good hygiene
Wipe from front to back after using the restroom to prevent bacteria from spreading to the urethra.
Urinate before and after sexual activity
This helps to flush out bacteria that may have entered the urinary tract during intercourse.
Avoid irritating feminine products
Certain feminine hygiene products, like sprays or powders, may irritate the urethra and increase the risk of UTIs.
Complete your round of antibiotics
If you’re prescribed antibiotics, it’s crucial to complete the full course of antibiotics as prescribed by your provider to ensure complete eradication of the infection. If not, you may not fully eliminate the infection.
Help for UTIs is just a call or click away
Experiencing the constant need to use the bathroom can be distressing, but it's essential to consider the possibility of a UTI. If you're exhibiting symptoms such as frequent urination, urgency, pain or burning during urination, or cloudy urine, don’t hesitate to walk into our San Jose, California, urgent care. You can also reach us at 408-207-4637 or through our online form.