Treating UTIs, bladder and kidney infections


Treating UTIs, bladder and kidney infections

Posted by Mark Hosko, MD in Health Information 22 Jul 2013

One common problem we see here at Portland Urgent Care is urinary tract infections (UTIs).  These infections are caused by bacteria, usually E. coli, although recent findings have indicated that GBS, or Group B Streptococcus, may also cause urinary tract infections.  The bacteria make their way into the system through the urethra, causing infection in the bladder and, more seriously, in the kidneys.


While everyone is vulnerable to urinary tract infections, they are most common among women, probably due to the female urethra being shorter than the male version.  Women also tend to have chronic urinary tract infections, with the bacteria and symptoms flaring up several times a year.


Common symptoms of a UTI include pain or burning upon urination; a sense of urgency with little urine coming out; urine that is cloudy or has a strong, pungent smell; fever, chills, nausea and vomiting; and any pain in the back just under the ribs where the kidneys are located.


When you first notice the symptoms of a possible UTI, it is a good idea to come into Urgent Care and seek medical advice.  We will take a sample of your urine and analyze it in our on-site lab to determine what bacteria are present in the urine and if these germs are causing a bladder or kidney infection.  Lab testing is also necessary so that the appropriate antibiotic may be prescribed to kill the specific bacteria causing the infection.


Once you have a prescription, it is important to take the prescription exactly as directed and to finish it even if you feel better.  This will ensure that the bacteria are killed and do not become stronger and immune to the antibiotic.

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