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UTI Symptoms, Timeline & Treatment

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Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are very common among adults and can be highly painful and uncomfortable. Usually, they’ll pass within a few days, but may need to be treated with antibiotics.

Women are much more vulnerable to suffering from UTIs than men, with almost half of all women in the UK experiencing one at least once in their life.

They’re caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract and bladder, causing inflammation and discomfort.

Our doctors can provide advice, diagnose your problem and if necessary, prescribe medication to treat your UTI.

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UTI Symptoms in a woman
UTI Symptoms can be painful

Urinary Tract Infections: Symptoms

The most common UTI symptoms include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Back pain
  • Needing to urinate frequently
  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • Pain when urinating
  • Cloudy urine, or urine with blood in it
  • Strong, unpleasant-smelling urine
  • High temperature
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

UTIs can lead to complications in some cases, so it’s best to seek medical advice if you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms.

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Urinary Tract Infections: Timeline

Onset: 1-3 days

You may begin to notice one or more of the above symptoms come on within the first few days of developing a UTI.

Duration: Varies

How long a UTI lasts will depend on how severe it is. In mild cases, symptoms will pass in a week or so, while in more serious cases they can last for weeks. Some women also experience repeat UTIs and will need treatment to prevent the problem from taking hold again.

In the early stages, it’s common to treat UTIs with home remedies like drinking lots of water or cranberry juice and eating a lot of fruit, especially types that are rich in potassium.

However, if symptoms persist for more than five days, you’re experiencing severe pain, or your symptoms suddenly get worse it’s best to see a doctor. If you have diabetes, or are pregnant, it’s best to consult a GP as soon as possible.

Recovery: Dependent on severity

Mild UTIs tend to get better of their own accord within a few days, but as mentioned, people with existing health conditions are at risk of developing complications, which can be very serious and result in blood poisoning and even kidney failure.

In more serious cases, it can often be necessary for a doctor to find out what type of bacteria is causing the UTI and prescribe the right type of antibiotics to treat it. In situations where a full course of antibiotics is prescribed, the UTI should clear up within a week or so.

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Timeline of UTI
Treating UTIs

Treating UTIs

In mild cases, lots of people turn to home remedies for UTIs like those mentioned above to relieve the symptoms or use over-the-counter painkillers like paracetamol to ease the pain while the problem clears up of its own accord.

You should avoid using anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen if you have an upper UTI. Medication like this can actually increase the risk of complications developing.

It’s always a good idea to stay hydrated with plenty of water, which should ease the pain, help bring down any fever and prevent you from becoming dehydrated.

In more severe cases or recurring bladder infections, you’ll need to see a doctor, who will prescribe you a course of antibiotics. When treating Urinary tract infections, Push Doctor in accordance with the NICE guidelines may issue a delayed prescription.

If this is the case we will follow up with you within 24-48 hours after your initial consultation to determine whether antibiotics are needed for treatment.

For the most serious cases, or where the sufferer is in an at-risk group, hospital treatment may be required.

If you’re suffering from any of the symptoms we’ve discussed or suspect you have a UTI, hit the button below to connect with one of our GPs. Our doctors can provide advice on diet and activities to help alleviate the infection sooner, and if necessary, prescribe a course of antibiotics to help quickly clear up a UTI.

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