For those who have already had at least one urinary tract infection (UTI) in their lives, its symptoms can often be unmistakable. Whether you're experiencing itching, burning, or a seemingly endless urge to urinate, these are telltale signs that bacteria has invaded your urinary tract and is wreaking havoc. But while UTIs (including recurrent UTIs) are quite common, it can be tough to know what to do when you're in the grips of one. Read on for a few situations in which you'll want to head to an urgent care clinic rather than trying to make an appointment with your primary care provider.
#1: When You're Heading Out of Town
For some, it never fails—as soon as you zip your suitcase shut, you feel the familiar twinges of a UTI. If you're getting ready to head on a trip, whether for business or pleasure, waiting until your return to treat your UTI can cause you discomfort and potentially even damage your urinary tract or kidneys. Instead, consider visiting an urgent care clinic so that you can be prescribed antibiotics (if necessary) and begin your trip as healthy as possible.
#2: When You've Had Recurrent UTIs For a While
Whether the result of particularly stubborn UTI bacteria or a patient's failure to take antibiotics as prescribed, many people find themselves dealing with frequent or recurrent UTIs. In these situations, a change in medication may be in order, and an urgent care facility might be able to take a culture of the bacteria that's infecting your urinary tract to determine which antibiotics and other drugs will be most effective in combating it.
#3: When Your Back is Aching
In certain situations, urinary tract bacteria can back up into your kidneys, causing flank pain and potentially even leading to nephritis, or a kidney infection. Any type of organ infection will require immediate treatment, so if you've started to feel a sharp pain in your lower back or a burning sensation that doesn't respond to a change in position, it's best to head to the clinic as soon as you can.
#4: When You Can't Get to Your Doctor Soon
As previously mentioned, an untreated UTI can present the potential for longer-term health problems if not promptly resolved. While UTI treatment is usually pretty routine, getting in to see your primary care physician can sometimes be tough. If you know you have a UTI and are facing a wait of weeks, not just days, to see your main doctor, consider heading to an urgent care clinic for quicker treatment.
For more information, contact urgent care clinics like MED7 Urgent Care Center.