Preparing for your appointment

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
References
  1. 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.
  2. Ferri FF. Urinary tract infection. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2017. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2017. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 30, 2017.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Urinary tract infections. National Institutes of Health. https://nihseniorhealth.gov/urinarytractinfections/whatareurinarytractinfections/01.html. Accessed June 30, 2017.
  6. Hooton TM, et al. Acute uncomplicated cystitis and pyelonephritis in women. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed June 30, 2017.
  7. Hooton TM, et al. Recurrent urinary tract infection in women. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed June 30, 2017.
  8. Cranberry. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/cranberry. Accessed June 30, 2017.
  9. 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.
  10. Overactive bladder (OAB): Lifestyle changes. Urology Care Foundation. https://urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/overactive-bladder-(oab)/treatment/lifestyle-changes. Accessed July 3, 2017.
  11. Werner K. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 7, 2017.
  12. Hooper DC. Fluoroquinolones. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Aug. 7, 2017.
  13. 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.