Medically reviewed on August 11, 2023 by Jillian Foglesong Stabile, MD, FAAFP. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
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UTIs can feel like a nuisance to deal with, especially if you get them often. However, it’s a type of infection that shouldn’t be ignored: while the most common type of UTI is a bladder infection, infections can also take root in the urethra, ureters, and kidneys. This is why you need to understand a bladder infection vs. UTI. Untreated UTIs are more likely to spread to other organs, potentially leading to kidney damage. 
If you have a UTI (especially a recurring case), treating the bacterial infection can help reduce the severity of its potential health consequences. To simplify the process, we’ll discuss why addressing UTIs early matters and what to expect from treatment is warranted.
Because UTIs are common, many people instinctively minimize their potential impact and may put off treatment when they have one.
How long can a UTI go untreated? Technically, there is no firm rule about when to seek treatment for a UTI. That said, seeking UTI treatment online can help prevent further issues from arising and can be sought based on the following factors.
In some cases, your immune system will resolve a UTI on its own. But if symptoms persist or worsen, it’s a sign to reach out to a healthcare provider.
Symptoms of a UTI may include :
Wondering how to relieve UTI pain? Most UTI symptoms are mild. If you have a UTI accompanied by symptoms like back pain and fever, it is very important to get treatment.3 These symptoms could be an indication of a kidney infection, which must be managed by a healthcare provider. 
See related: Can a UTI Cause Bleeding?
If you have recurring UTIs, it’s best to get evaluated as soon as possible. Home remedies may not be effective for UTIs if your condition is caused by an underlying issue.
Moreover, your healthcare provider can assess what may be causing the UTIs. This could be a personal habit (like not peeing after sex) or a structural problem (your urinary anatomy).
See related: Can Recurrent UTIs Be a Sign of Cancer?
UTI treatment protects your well-being by preventing your urinary infection from spreading to other parts of your body. This helps ensure your infection does not progress, becoming more difficult and onerous to treat. 
Seeking treatment also gives your healthcare provider the opportunity to ensure you’re properly diagnosed. If you do not have a urinary tract infection, they may recommend screening for conditions like sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or other conditions with overlapping symptoms. 
Healthcare providers apply various approaches to diagnose a urinary tract infection, including:
The most common medical treatment for UTIs is a course of antibiotics.  These help wipe out the bacteria that are causing the infection.
With antibiotics, many people see a decline in UTI symptoms a few days after starting the treatment.  However, it’s very important you complete the round of antibiotics as prescribed (even if your symptoms begin to decrease before you’re finished). 
If you’ve treated UTIs with antibiotics multiple times before, your healthcare provider may advise against using them. Overuse of antibiotics can cause infection-causing bacteria to develop immunity to treatment.
In addition to medical treatment, there are several effective home remedies that may help coax UTIs out of your system. These include:
From telehealth consultations to prescription services, Everlywell offers affordable home care options without compromising quality. Find out more about online UTI treatment and take charge of your well-being by visiting Everlywell today.