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When to See a Doctor for a Urinary Tract Infection

Oct 29, 2015 09:58AM ● By Dia

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By Jeffrey Peebles, M.D. – Southlake Medical Director, Complete Care

A urinary tract infection, also referred to as a bladder infection, is a painful – and, unfortunately – common issue. These are just a few of the signs you may have one, as well as information on when you will need to get to your nearest Complete Care emergency medical center. 

Causes and Symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection

The most common cause of a urinary tract infection is E. coli, a form of bacteria that can often enter a woman’s bladder after having sex. The urinary tract of a pregnant woman typically undergoes significant changes, putting her at a higher risk of an infection.

Even though a urinary tract infection can be painful, it will typically not cause any permanent problems as long as it is properly treated. If a man develops this problem, however, it could be an indication of an underlying condition such as a urinary tract blockage.

If you feel a burning pain when you urinate, feel like you need to urinate more frequently than normal, or you can only pass a small amount of urine, then you may be developing an infection. Other signs are foul smelling, cloudy or bloody urine.

Getting Help

A urinary tract infection will often clear up with home treatment, such as drinking a great deal of water and emptying the bladder each time you urinate. Most patients will get better on their own. But if you have an infection accompanied by fever, chills, nausea or vomiting, or you notice pain below the rib cage and above the waist, you need to get medical help as soon as you can. Urinary tract infections can, in some instances, be a sign of a stone in the tract, a prostate infection or possibly kidney disease.

You should also see a doctor if you have minor symptoms that do not clear up in a day or two, have diabetes, or your symptoms return after temporarily improving. It will be particularly important for you to see a doctor if you are pregnant or 65 years of age or older.

The best advice for dealing with this type of problem is to pay close attention to how you feel and what type of symptoms you experience. Do not hesitate to get help if those symptoms worsen, because that likely means you will need more extensive treatment.

If you or someone in your home develops a urinary tract infection or you ever experience any kind of medical emergency, get in touch with the experts at Complete Care. Contact us online to learn more.


Dr. Jeffrey Peebles, M.D. has an extensive amount of experience in delivering advanced emergency care. He is board certified with the American Board of Emergency Medicine, and a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians/Texas College of Emergency Physicians. Dr. Peebles is committed to providing timely, affordable and high-quality medical care to the Southlake community.