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:
- 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?
Aug. 25, 2017
- Wein AJ, et al., eds. Infections of the urinary tract. In: Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2016. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 30, 2017.
- Ferri FF. Urinary tract infection. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2017. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2017. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 30, 2017.
- Bladder infection (urinary tract infection—UTI) in adults. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/bladder-infection-uti-in-adults. Accessed June 30, 2017.
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs). The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Urinary-Tract-Infections-UTIs. Accessed June 30, 2017.
- Urinary tract infections. National Institutes of Health. https://nihseniorhealth.gov/urinarytractinfections/whatareurinarytractinfections/01.html. Accessed June 30, 2017.
- Hooton TM, et al. Acute uncomplicated cystitis and pyelonephritis in women. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed June 30, 2017.
- Hooton TM, et al. Recurrent urinary tract infection in women. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed June 30, 2017.
- Cranberry. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/cranberry. Accessed June 30, 2017.
- Takhar SS, et al. Diagnosis and management of urinary tract infection in the emergency department and outpatient settings. Infectious Disease Clinics of North America. 2014;28:33.
- Overactive bladder (OAB): Lifestyle changes. Urology Care Foundation. https://urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/overactive-bladder-(oab)/treatment/lifestyle-changes. Accessed July 3, 2017.
- Werner K. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 7, 2017.
- Hooper DC. Fluoroquinolones. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Aug. 7, 2017.
- FDA drug safety communication: FDA updates warnings for oral and injectable fluoroquinolone antibiotics due to disabling side effects. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm511530.htm. Accessed Aug. 7, 2017.
Urinary tract infection (UTI)