All About Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Testing and Treatment

It's wise to visit your doctor the moment the first symptom strikes. If left untreated, a UTI could develop into a kidney infection, whether you're pregnant or not. Kidney infections can lead to a blood infection, which is potentially life threatening, cautions Dr. Whitmore. For an accurate diagnosis, you need to have a urine culture, which will determine the presence of bacteria.

If you have a UTI, your doctor will prescribe safe antibiotics to cure the infection. If the meantime, drink plenty of water to help flush out the bacteria. To get rid of UTI pain, you may want to pick up some pyridium pills, such as Uristat, at the drugstore. Of course, if you're pregnant, talk to your doctor before taking any medications, over-the-counter or otherwise.

Recurrent UTIs -- more than two in six months -- warrant a consultation with a urologist and a thorough urological workup, Dr. Whitmore says. An ultrasound of the kidney and telescopic examination of the bladder can determine whether the UTI is being caused by another medical problem, such as a kidney stone. If bacteria are the reason for your recurrent UTIs, your doctor can write you a renewable antibiotic prescription that you can fill at the first sign of infection.

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