If you have bladder symptoms, it is likely that the doctor will ask you to do a urine sample, so that they can check for the presence of bacteria or blood in the urine. They will also examine you & discuss your symptoms with you in order to diagnose your condition. Once you have a diagnosis, the GP will discuss treatment options with you. If you need a prescription, this will be included in the cost of your consultation.
Even though most UTIs are not serious, the symptoms can feel quite severe. The most common symptoms of a urinary tract infection include:
- Pain with urination (a burning, searing, or sharp pain)
- Constant pain or burning sensation in the urethra
- Increased urinary frequency & urgency (needing to go very suddenly)
- Lower abdominal pain
- Recurrent UTI (having repeated instances of UTI symptoms)
It is important that you see a doctor if you have these symptoms, particularly if they are accompanied by a fever (body temperature of higher than 37 degrees Celsius), if you are pregnant, or diabetic. It is rare to have complications from a UTI, but they do need to be treated in order to prevent the infection from spreading to the kidneys or into the blood.
There are a number of causes for UTI, but bacterial infection is the most common one. The urethra can become infected with bacteria during sexual intercourse. If bacteria from the anus comes into contact with the urethra, it can create an infection (most commonly from not wiping from the front to the back after going to the toilet). Sometimes you may have the symptoms of a UTI that are in fact caused by irritation to the bladder from something you are eating or drinking, or from dehydration.
In around 20-30% of cases of women presenting with a UTI, there will be a further infection after the initial one is treated. For those who have chronic bladder symptoms, they may have a condition called Interstitial Cystitis, in which the bladder contains small ulcers & haemorrhages which lead to recurring symptoms.
Most UTIs are treated with antibiotics, especially if they have gone on for more than a few days. Some cases of cystitis will clear up on their own. If you are having UTI symptoms, please make an appointment to see the GP who can help you find out the cause & get you treated.
- UTI (urinary tract infection)
- Interstitial cystitis
- Chronic UTI
- Recurring UTI