Written on December 22, 2022 by Gillian (Gigi) Singer, MPH, Sexuality Educator & Certified Sexologist. 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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If you have a UTI, you can get antibiotics from a telehealthcare provider or use over-the-counter remedies. Options for treatment will vary based on your infection, if it has spread past the urethra, and if you experience chronic UTIs.
The Mayo Clinic describes urinary tract infections (UTIs) as “an infection in any part of the urinary system,” which can include the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or urethra . Per the CDC, the most common form of UTI is a bladder infection (cystitis) .
UTIs can be uncomfortable and painful, and if the infection spreads to the kidneys (called pyelonephritis) it can be dangerous and requires immediate medical attention.
According to the CDC, UTIs can be caused by any of the following :
Symptoms and combinations thereof can vary from person to person, but below are lists of symptoms provided by the CDC for both bladder and kidney infections.
Possible symptoms of a bladder infection :
Possible symptoms of a kidney infection :
UTIs can be diagnosed by analyzing urine samples, doing imaging of the urinary tract, or using a scope to look at the bladder . A provider may also diagnose you based on your conversation and/or medical history.
The first line of defense to treat a UTI is a course of antibiotics. Thankfully, after you start treatment, UTI symptoms clear up within a couple of days, but you must continue to take the antibiotics as prescribed, even if you are feeling better.
The Mayo Clinic says: “For an uncomplicated UTI that occurs when you’re otherwise healthy, your healthcare provider may recommend a [short] course of treatment. That may mean taking an antibiotic for 1 to 3 days. Whether a short course of treatment is enough to treat your infection depends on your symptoms and medical history” . Additionally, “Your health care provider also may give you a pain reliever to take that can ease burning while urinating. But pain usually goes away soon after starting an antibiotic” .
Prescription medications used to treat simple UTIs are:
If you have frequent UTIs, your healthcare provider may recommend :
The Mayo Clinic says in the case of a severe UTI, you may need to receive antibiotics through an IV in the hospital .
The antibiotics that treat UTIs are not available over the counter, and thus, they have to be prescribed by a healthcare professional. However, you do not need to go into a doctor’s office (or even leave your house) to get a prescription.
With Everlywell’s telehealth visits, you can book a same-day video appointment for UTI treatment with a healthcare provider who can give you a diagnosis and prescribe antibiotics when necessary — your prescription is even sent right to your local pharmacy. This telehealth option is convenient and private, plus you don’t have to wait to get care or treatment. Visits can cost as low as $10 and even without insurance (though major insurance plans are accepted), an appointment costs less than $60.