There’s no doubt that a urinary tract infection (UTI) can cause discomfort. But how do you know if you have one and more importantly, how can you get quick relief?
Using telehealth, or an online doctor visit to diagnose and treat your UTI symptoms, can be a smart option to get fast relief.
Many telehealth providers now offer urgent care visits available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all from the convenience of your mobile phone or home computer. Find out below what a UTI is, what symptoms you may have and how to get treatment.
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What is a UTI?
A urinary tract infection is an infection that affects any part of your urinary system, such as your kidneys, bladder, urethra or ureters. A majority of the infections affect the bladder and the urethra, and typically women are more susceptible to a UTI than men.
What are some of the symptoms of a UTI?
The common symptoms of a UTI could include pain or burning sensation during urination. You could also experience a frequent or intense urge to urinate, and sometimes very little comes out. More serious symptoms could include pain or pressure in your back or lower abdomen, feeling tired or shaky, fevers or chills.
How does a doctor diagnose a UTI online?
Many people think that in order to diagnose a UTI in a woman, a doctor needs to take a culture. However, a doctor doesn’t necessarily need a lab sample to make a diagnosis. Your physician may be able determine if you have a UTI based off your symptoms and past history.
Understanding your past history helps rule out the possibility that your symptoms are caused by something else like a sexually transmitted disease or a yeast infection. In some cases, a doctor may ask that you perform an over-the-counter home UTI test. Sometimes an additional exam can be done to ensure that your UTI has not traveled to your kidneys, and your doctor will be able to give you instructions over video.
UTI vs. Bladder Infection
A bladder infection is a type of a urinary tract infection. This type of UTI is usually caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli), which is a type of bacteria commonly found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Sometimes other bacteria can be the cause. Some risk factors include:
- female anatomy
- birth control
- certain medications
- sexual activity
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What is the treatment for a UTI?
If you have a UTI, your doctor will likely prescribe you a short course of antibiotics and possibly pain medication to help reduce the irritation. For women, antibiotics could make you more susceptible to get a yeast infection, so be sure to follow up with your physician.
If you’ve never had a doctor’s visit over video, you may be wondering how it works and whether it is possible to diagnose and address your health concerns.
About Doctor On Demand
Doctor On Demand is a covered benefit for over 98 million Americans by their health plan or employer. It’s free to sign up and easy to check your coverage when you register.
At Doctor On Demand, we have established our own peer-reviewed, evidence-based video medicine guidelines. A visit with one of our physicians is similar to the face-to-face visit that you may be used to in a physical office.
We can consult and provide the care you need for many issues you may face, including urinary tract infections (UTI’s). All of our doctors are board-certified and have an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars.
About the author
Ian Tong, M.D., serves as Chief Medical Officer at Doctor On Demand and is also a Clinical Assistant Professor (affiliated) at Stanford University Medical School and has staff privileges at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. Before Doctor On Demand, Ian held multiple medical leadership roles including former Stanford Internal Medicine Chief Resident, and Founder and Medical Director of THRIVE (The Health Resource Initiative for Veterans Everywhere). Ian earned a medical degree from The University of Chicago-Pritzker. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and completed both his residency and Chief residency at Stanford Hospital and Clinics.