If you think you have a urinary tract infection, it’s time to see a doctor. A urinary tract infection, or UTI, is actually caused by bacteria and needs to be treated with antibiotics. Diagnosis is as simple as a urinalysis and/or urine culture.

Symptoms of UTI

If you have any combination of the following symptoms, call you doctor.

  1. Frequent need to urinate
  2. Intense urge to go, but only produce a small amount of urine
  3. Burning sensation during urination
  4. Loss of urine control
  5. Pain in lower back or abdomen
  6. Dark or cloudy urine
  7. Foul-smelling urine
  8. Blood in urine
  9. Fatigue
  10. Fever or chills

Treatment

Along with an antibiotic, a physician can prescribe some medication to ease the pain until the infection is resolved. Of course, it will also help to drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to help flush out the infection-causing bacteria. Cranberry juice? It’s not just an old wives tale, but it won’t cure an infection. There is, however, a tannin in cranberries that helps prevent E. coli bacteria from adhering to the bladder wall and causing an infection in the first place.

Putting off a visit to the doctor if you have symptoms of a urinary tract infection will not only prolong your discomfort, but could also lead to worse complications. If left untreated, a UTI can affect your bladder and kidneys. If detected early, they are usually easy to treat and have no lasting effect on your urinary tract.