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Teri Lou, December 15 2022

Can I Go To Urgent Care For UTI?

Diagnosis & Treatment for UTIs at Urgent Care

If you have pain when peeing, you may have a urinary tract infection (UTI), in which case you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. You may be concerned about what may happen if you do not seek medical help for this relatively mild infection right away. If left untreated, however, it can have major long-term health repercussions. First, get some answers to your pertinent questions to help you make the right decisions for your health.  

Can I go to urgent care for a UTI?

Most cases of urinary tract infection are not serious enough to require a trip to the emergency department, but an urgent care facility near you can help without the wait time. While emergency rooms are important for potential loss of life or limb, they are not great for minor problems as they have to prioritize patients by the seriousness of the condition. Sadly, UTIs rank low in an emergency room. 

Urgent care handles minor problems that cannot wait until normal business hours. Therefore, they can see patients on a first-come, first-serve basis. An urgent care is the perfect choice to get the meds and pain relief you need to function again when you have a urinary tract infection.

UTIs are one of the most frequent illnesses in the United States, affecting more than 3 million men and women each year. Anyone of any age can get a UTI from birth through old age. With so many people affected and most infections not waiting for your doctor's office to have an appointment, urgent care offers the ability to get treatment when you get sick, not on someone else's schedule. 

Finally, UTIs can spread to other parts of the body and make you much sicker. Back pain, nausea, fever, blood in the urine, and even vomiting are all symptoms that no one wants to have – and that they want to go away as quickly as possible. Only a doctor knows when those annoying and painful to bad enough to warrant emergency services. Go to urgent care with the first symptoms so you can avoid a necessary trip to an emergency room. 

Urgent care is substantially better priced than emergency care. People can save time and money with non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries. As UTIs are not life-threatening in their beginning stages and urgent care is the most cost-effective option. Urgent care also accepts most insurances, and you can expect lower out-of-pocket expenses. 

Furthermore, you will not have to sit in a waiting room chair in pain for hours as more emergent cases come in after you. You can often schedule an appointment or walk-in for help at urgent care. Either way, you will get help much faster, so you can go back home to bed after picking up your prescription. 

How does urgent care diagnose a UTI?

If you're having any symptoms of a UTI, a doctor will perform an exam and run diagnostic tests to ensure the diagnosis, such as urine analysis. Your healthcare professional can advise you on your options after a confirmed diagnosis. If you perform an at-home UTI test and the results are positive, you should consult a doctor. 

The doctor will probably prescribe an antibiotic with a positive urine culture. The antibiotic will be changed if the urine culture reveals that the bacteria is resistant to the one administered. An urgent care center and a physician's office should be able to diagnose and treat a urinary tract infection. 

The severity of your illness determines how a doctor will treat your UTI. Simple infections in the urinary system require a different diagnosis than frequent infections or severe infections. The latter will require intravenous antibiotics in a hospital setting. 

This urinalysis can reveal illness symptoms such as a hazy appearance and a changed pH and more specific results like bacteria byproducts and white blood cells. Your doctor may recommend a urine culture to identify the bacterium causing the infection. Samples will be submitted to an outside lab for this. In addition to allowing the lab to grow the bacteria for identification, it also allows it to test which antibiotics would efficiently kill the germs, ensuring optimal treatment.

What are the symptoms of a UTI?

Infections in the urinary tract do not necessarily create symptoms. However, you may experience any or all of the following when they do: 

Women are ten times more likely to get a UTI infection than men. This is because women's urethrae are shorter than men's, making it easier for bacteria to travel up to the bladder. Men can still get this infection but not nearly as often as women. One in five women will experience a UTI in their lifetime. Also, women are more prone to infection when pregnant, in peri-menopause, and in menopause. 

Many issues can have the same or similar symptoms, which is why it's important to seek medical care and make sure you have a UTI. 

Can a UTI go untreated?

As UTIs progress to the kidneys, a person may get a high fever, nausea, chills, vomiting, and pain in the side or upper back, among other symptoms. If the infection spreads to other regions of the body, such as the kidneys, untreated urinary tract infections can lead to life-threatening health problems. In addition, a kidney infection can progress to sepsis, an infection-fighting condition in which your body becomes overwhelmed. 

Urosepsis is sepsis induced by a urinary tract infection. If you experience abnormal heartbeat, breathing problems, foggy brain, extreme exhaustion, and any of the UTI symptoms, you need to go to an emergency room right away. Urinary tract infections can cause premature birth in pregnant women. 

What does UTI pain feel like?

Irritation from a urinary infection can cause pain in your lower belly, pelvis, and even your back and a desire to urinate more frequently. The most common symptom is burning or pain when urinating. However, even if you have a strong desire or need to urinate, you may only get a few drops.

You can expect general malaise, and your whole body will try to fight the infection. People with this infection will often feel extra tired and achy as their body fights. Antibiotics are the most effective and quickest treatment to end your discomfort. 

Can a UTI happen suddenly?

Unfortunately, UTIs can happen suddenly. You may go to bed one night without a problem and wake up in anguish. Often you make experience small symptoms but mark them off as something else. Many women can mistake the start of their menses when it's actually a urinary infection. 

Can I get antibiotics for UTI without seeing a doctor?

Women who are prone to UTIs and have established care may not need to see a doctor. However, their doctor may be willing to call in a prescription but not the first time a patient has these symptoms. In the United States, antibiotics are only available with a prescription. However, some doctors are willing to speak over the phone to someone who has previous experience with these infections. 

You'll need to speak with a doctor or nurse practitioner to receive a prescription. This can be done in person, via phone, or via video. If this is your first UTI, seeing a doctor in person may be beneficial. Also, if you think you might have a sexually transmitted infection (STI), this is a smart option, especially because STIs and UTIs often have similar symptoms. 

Keep in mind that a doctor cannot perform a physical exam or lab tests over a phone or from a video call. One option is to contact your primary care physician's office. Another alternative is to consult with an online physician. You can obtain the same high-quality care for your UTI from the comfort of your own home with telehealth. However, you will probably still need to leave the house to pick up your prescription. 

Can urgent care prescribe antibiotics for UTIs?

Urgent care clinic doctors have the same powers as primary care doctors when it comes to prescribing drugs, including antibiotics. Certain drugs necessitate monitoring, such as intravenous medicines, which may require further care. Patients may rest assured that whether they see a physician assistant or a doctor at an urgent care center, the clinician will be able to prescribe medication and treat them as quickly as possible while always keeping the patient's health in mind.

Why choose Portland Urgent Care for UTI treatment?

Portland Urgent Care works tirelessly to provide our patients with a wide variety of healthcare services so they can get back to living. We also use various integrated medical resources that allow us to serve you in the way that your body requires by combining both western and eastern medical services. 

We provide tests, exams, and treatment for common women's health issues. If you suspect a UTI, we can test swiftly and help you feel better faster as we have an in-clinic lab. You do not have to suffer and treat yourself at home when we can immediately assist you and bring you back to your life. Lastly, we offer telehealth appointments to help patients from the comfort of their homes.


Consider visiting your nearest Portland Urgent Care if you feel you have a urinary tract infection. We make testing simple, efficient, and discreet because urinary tract infections are not comfortable or public. In addition, we can get you seen quickly at our clinic to get your results without the inconvenience of a doctor's office visit. Call today to schedule an appointment. 

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Written by

Teri Lou

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