Your family doctor, nurse practitioner or other health care provider can treat most urinary tract infections. If you have frequent recurrences or a chronic kidney infection, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in urinary disorders (urologist) or kidney disorders (nephrologist) for an evaluation.
What you can do
To prepare for your appointment:
- Ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as collect a urine specimen.
- Take note of your symptoms, even if you're not sure they're related to a UTI.
- Make a list of all the medications, vitamins or other supplements that you take.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
For a UTI, basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's the most likely cause of my signs and symptoms?
- Are there any other possible causes?
- Do I need any tests to confirm the diagnosis?
- What factors do you think may have contributed to my UTI?
- What treatment approach do you recommend?
- If the first treatment doesn't work, what will you recommend next?
- Am I at risk of complications from this condition?
- What is the risk that this problem will recur?
- What steps can I take to reduce my risk of a recurrence?
- Should I see a specialist?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions as they occur to you during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor will likely ask you several questions, including:
Nov. 30, 2016
- When did you first notice your symptoms?
- Have you been treated for a bladder or kidney infection in the past?
- How severe is your discomfort?
- How often do you urinate?
- Are your symptoms relieved by urinating?
- Do you have low back pain?
- Have you had a fever?
- Have you noticed vaginal discharge or blood in your urine?
- Are you sexually active?
- Do you use contraception? What kind?
- Could you be pregnant?
- Are you being treated for any other medical conditions?
- Have you ever used a catheter?
- Bennett JE, et al. Urinary tract infections. In: Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 20, 2015.
- Urinary tract infections in adults. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/KUDiseases/pubs/utiadult/. Accessed April 15, 2015.
- Bacterial urinary tract infections. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary-disorders/urinary-tract-infections-uti/bacterial-urinary-tract-infections. Accessed April 23, 2015.
- Grabe M, et al. Guidelines on urological infections. European Association of Urology. http://uroweb.org/guideline/urological-infections/. Accessed April 20, 2015.
- Hooton TM, et al. Acute uncomplicated cystitis and pyelonephritis in women. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 20, 2015.
- Cook AJ. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 22, 2015.
- Geerlings SE, et al. Prevention of recurrent urinary tract infections in women: Antimicrobial and nonantimicrobial strategies. Infectious Disease Clinics of North America. 2014;28:135.
- Hooton TM, et al. Recurrent urinary tract infection in women. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 20, 2015.
- Jepson RG. Cranberries for preventing urinary tract infections. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001321.pub5/abstract. Accessed April 20, 2015.
- Cranberry. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/cranberry. Accessed April 20, 2015.
- Newman DK, et al. Office-based behavioral therapy for management of incontinence and other pelvic disorders. The Urologic Clinics of North America. 2013;40:613.
- Castle EP (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz. Nov. 1, 2016.
- Marnach ML (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 24, 2015.
- Juthani-Mehta M, et al. Effect of cranberry capsules on bacteriuria plus pyuria among older women in nursing homes. JAMA. In press. Accessed Oct. 31, 2016.