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  • How do I treat and prevent UTIs?

A simple urine test can diagnose UTIs, and they’re treated with antibiotics. The type, dose, and length of your urinary tract infection treatment depends on what’s causing the infection and your medical history.

Think you may have a UTI? Find A Health Center →
 

How do I get tested for a UTI?

You have to go see a nurse or doctor to know for sure if you have a UTI. Testing usually begins with a nurse or doctor talking with you about your medical history and your symptoms. They’ll also do a simple test, called a urinalysis: all you do is pee in a cup, and they’ll test it for certain bacteria or other signs of infection.

In addition to the urinalysis, your doctor or nurse might test you for certain STDs, which can lead to UTIs or have similar symptoms.

Is there treatment for UTIs?

Most UTIs are easy to treat. Treatment for UTIs is generally antibiotics, which get rid of the infection. You can also take over-the-counter pain medicine if you want.

Antibiotics are usually quick and effective — most symptoms go away within a day or 2 of taking medicine. But be sure to finish all of your medicine, even if your symptoms go away. If you stop your UTI treatment early, the infection might still be there or could come back.

If your symptoms don’t go away after a few days, or for more severe infections like a kidney or prostate infection, your doctor or nurse may recommend more tests, different medication, or refer you to a specialist.

Where can I get tested or treated for a UTI?

Your local Planned Parenthood health center, many other clinics, and private doctors’ offices offer tests and treatments for UTIs.

How can I prevent UTIs?

If you've ever had a urinary tract infection, you know that once is more than enough. The good news is you may be able to prevent UTIs. Try these simple tips:

  • Drink a lot of fluids (including water).

  • Pee when you need to. Don't hold it.

  • Pee before and after sex.

  • Wash the skin around your anus and genitals with warm water and gentle soap.

  • Use barriers like condoms and dental dams during sex, especially during sexual contact with your anus.

Also, anything that touches or goes into your anus — like a finger, penis, or sex toy — should be thoroughly washed before touching other genitals.

If you’ve got a vulva, wipe from front to back after using the bathroom and keep your vulva clean and dry. You can do this by wearing underwear with a cotton crotch and not using douches, powder, or deodorant sprays in your vagina.

If you get frequent UTIs, drinking cranberry juice (unsweetened — not the sweetened juice cocktail) or taking cranberry supplement pills might help prevent them. If none of these things help, your nurse or doctor may give you a low dose antibiotic to take on a regular basis or after sex. So it’s also a good idea to talk to a doctor or nurse to see if there are any other reasons you might be getting UTIs.

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