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Urinary Tract Infection: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Mar 15, 2022

What is the treatment?

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that can occur anywhere within the urinary system. This infection occurs largely within the bladder and urethra, which is why it is also known as a bladder infection. While women are generally more susceptible to getting a UTI, the infection can occur in men as well. A UTI is considered a low risk infection however, it can be extremely dangerous once the infection spreads into the kidneys. This is why it should be resolved as soon as possible.

Urinary tract infections are fairly quick to treat. There are specific medications available in the market to treat this infection and you can administer them to yourself in the comfort of your home. If your infection has a tendency to occur again and again, your doctor may prescribe a mild antibiotic to help clear it out once and for all. If the infection is occurring post menopause, then the doctor may recommend vaginal oestrogen therapy in order to prevent more infections from taking place.

If you are suffering from a severe urinary tract infection, then you may have to be hospitalized. This is because the doctor will want to give you your medications intravenously in order to clear the infection faster.

How is the treatment done?

A urinary tract infection is diagnosed with the help of a urine sample. Analysing the sample can provide enough evidence for the doctor to confirm your UTI. If your UTIs are recurrent, the doctor may use a scope in order to have a look inside your urethra and bladder to determine the cause for recurrence. An ultrasound or an MRI can also help in this case. If your UTI is severe, a bacteria culture may be grown within the lab for the doctor to get more information about the infection. However, more often than not, a urine sample will suffice.

Once the UTI is confirmed, the treatment can begin. Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate medications to you to clear out the infection. The exact dosage will depend on how severe or mild the infection is. All you need to do is take the pills as directed.

For recurrent infections, an antibiotic course that can go up to 6 months or longer will be prescribed. This will not only clear the infection you have, but also take care of any other strains of bacteria left behind or new infections to follow in the course of the treatment.

If your UTI is severe, then you might be hospitalized. A cannula will be inserted into your arm or wrist and an IV drip will be attached to the same. The drip will contain antibiotic medication that will help get rid of the UTI within a few days.

Will a UTI go away on its own?

It has been seen that minor to moderate UTI infections can be cured without any medical aid. These cases do not need to be treated with therapeutics and do not develop any further complications. However, they needed to be addressed.

One needs to take care of their hygiene and try to take home care to prevent its further spread. If the UTI does not get cured on time it can be spread to different sections of the urinary tract which can be damaging.

Summary: In most cases ( mild to moderate infection) UTI can go away on its own within a few days. Although, if the spread is severe it may need medical aid for complete remission.

Does UTI pain get worse at night?

Yes, bacterial infections like UTIs have the tendency to get worse at night. This is because during night time our body slows down most of its daytime regime in order to give adequate rest.

In the case of the urinary tract, the blood filtration lowers its pace which decreases the production of urine. Decreased amount of urine in the system increases discomfort and pain.

Summary: It is generally seen that bacterial infections like UTIs tend to get worse at night. This is because our body decelerates its basic functions which can increase discomfort and pain.

How do I know if a UTI has spread to my kidneys?

UTI of the bladder and kidney projects the same types of symptoms. Things like foul smell, frequent urination, pain, burning sensation, blood in the urine are some common symptoms. But kidney infection can be identified with the help of some specific symptoms.

  • Fever
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain in the lower back or side
  • Chills
Summary: Kidney infection can be differentiated on the basis of its symptoms and duration of the infection. While most of the symptoms of bladder and kidney UTI are common, some can help you identify the difference.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

If you have a UTI, you can seek out treatment for the same. UTI treatments can be administered to women and men of all ages.


Who is not eligible for the treatment?

If you are suffering from a kidney infection, you might exhibit symptoms and signs that can be similar to a bladder infection. Once a proper diagnosis is carried out, you can be sure of what you have. If you have a kidney infection, then the treatments for a UTI will not help you.

How long does UTI last?

The duration of the infection can be determined by its location and spread. If the bacterias are present in the bladder region, they can be cured within a week. In minor cases, it can also wear off within 24-28 hours.

On the other hand, if your infection is present in the kidney region it can take up to one to two weeks to completely wear off.

Summary: From one day to two weeks, the duration of urinary tract infection depends on the location and complication of the bacterial spread.

Are there any side effects?

Antibiotics can sometimes raise the body temperature and cause a fever. This is completely normal and nothing to be alarmed about.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Certain lifestyle changes can help you prevent UTIs from occurring. Drinking plenty of fluids can help ensure that your urinary system is flushed out on a regular basis. This keeps it clean and less susceptible to infections. Peeing after having sexual intercourse is also a way to ensure that your urinary system is not clogged.

How should you sleep with a UTI?

Since our body's immune system slows down during the nighttime, it is important to take care of your body to have a speedy and effective recovery. In case of UTI, there are some things that you can keep in mind before going to bed to ensure a comfortable bedtime:

  • Empty your bladder before going to bed.
  • Avoid drinking caffeine or drinks that are acidic in nature. Also, minimize the consumption of water before going to bed.
  • Prepare a hot water bottle or a hot compress to soothe the abdominal pain.
  • Instead of your regular underwear try wearing incontinence pads or wear incontinence pants. This will allow you to be clean and dry, even if you pee during the nighttime.
  • Do not forget to take medication as suggested by your doctor.
Summary: UTI can be managed well during the night with the help of some hot compress, antibiotics, and minimizing any form of liquid before going to bed.

How long does it take to recover?

It can take a few days to clear up the infection, although the treatment itself may last a full week.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

UTI medications can cost between Rs. 50 – Rs. 100.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Some people have recurrent UTIs. If this is the case, it is important to examine why the infection keeps coming back. Treating the underlying condition or resolving the lifestyle element that is leading to the infection recurring can help clear it once and for all. However, with most people, the results of the treatment are permanent.

Urinary tract infection foods not to eat:

Bacterial infections like UTIs flare up if not handled with care. Even the minor infections needed a proper diet plan to have a speedy recovery. Avoid foods falls under the following category:

  • High sugar
  • High carbohydrates
  • Spicy
  • Fried
  • Caffeinated
Summary: Foods that are high in sugar, fat, carbs, spice, and caffeine can trigger UTI bacteria which can worsen the infection.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Cranberry juice is known to help prevent UTIs, though there are no official studies to back up this claim.

Summary: UTI or urinary tract infection can be described as a bacterial infection that develops in parts of the urinary system. The infection can be subcategorized on the basis of its duration and the location of the infection. The recovery period of the infection may vary from one day to two weeks. Generally, the infection wears off with the help of some home care methods and by maintaining hygiene, in other cases, it needs proper medical attention to avoid the risk of kidney failure.

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Written ByDr. Goma Bali Bajaj Diploma in geriatric,MBBS,MEM,Diploma In GeriatricGeneral Physician
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