Preparing for your appointment

You'll likely start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. If your doctor suspects your infection has spread to your kidneys, you might be referred to a doctor who treats conditions that affect the urinary tract (urologist).

What you can do

When you make the appointment, ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as restrict your diet for certain tests.

Make a list of:

  • Your symptoms, including any that seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment, and when they began
  • Key personal information, including recent life changes, such as a new sexual partner, and whether you've had previous urinary tract or kidney infections
  • All medications, vitamins and other supplements you take, including doses
  • Questions to ask your doctor

Take a family member or friend along, if possible, to help you remember the information you're given.

For kidney infection, questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What is the likely cause of my kidney infection?
  • What tests do I need?
  • What treatment do you recommend?
  • What are the potential side effects of treatment?
  • Will I need to be hospitalized?
  • How can I prevent future kidney infections?
  • I have other health conditions. How can I manage them together?
  • Are there brochures or other printed material I can have? What websites do you recommend?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you questions, such as:

  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
Aug. 07, 2017
References
  1. Pyelonephritis: Kidney infection. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/kidney-infection-pyelonephritis. Accessed May 4, 2017.
  2. Kidney infection. American Kidney Fund. http://www.kidneyfund.org/kidney-disease/kidney-problems/kidney-infection.html. Accessed May 4, 2017.
  3. Hooton TM, et al. Acute uncomplicated cystitis and pyelonephritis in women. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 4, 2017.
  4. Frequently asked questions. Gynecologic problems FAQ050. Urinary tract infections. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/~/media/For Patients/faq050.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20140523T1534363926. Accessed May 4, 2017.
  5. Hooten TM. Patient education: Kidney infection (pyelonephritis) (Beyond the Basics). https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 4, 2017.
  6. Hooten TM, et al. Urinary tract infections and asymptomatic bacteriuria in pregnancy. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 4, 2017.