A urinary tract infection often does not require hospitalization and can be cleared up and treated at home. However, speaking or visiting with a medical professional is still encouraged. The infection commonly sits in the urethra or bladder and is caused by bacteria. Women suffer from the condition more than men, according to Medline Plus. Additional risk factors for developing a UTI include diabetes, presence of a urinary catheter and bowel incontinence. Occasionally, a UTI affects the kidneys and a person becomes at risk for more severe complications.
Confirm you have a urinary tract infection by speaking with a medical professional. If you have had a urinary tract infection before and are able to identify UTI symptoms, tests are generally not ordered. A person experiencing a UTI for the first time or who feels unsure about the condition is often asked to submit a urine sample for immediate evaluation. Drink plenty of water before the exam.
Take all antibiotics prescribed by the medical doctor. Always continue medications even if symptoms of the UTI clear up. Medline Plus reports symptoms of a UTI often disappear within 24 to 48 hours after initiating treatment. The bacteria may still exist in the urinary tract and cause another infection if you do not take the full course of antibiotics. Common medications include levofloxacin, ciprofloxacin and nitrofurantoin, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Consider pain medication to numb the urinary tract. A UTI may cause considerable pain when you attempt to void. Medications containing the drug phenazopyridine offer urinary pain relief. The medication does not treat the infection. It is important to not take the medication for longer than two days, unless approved by a medical professional. Understand a normal side effect of the medication includes turning urine a dark orange or red color. Remove contacts and wear glasses when taking the medication to avoid having stains form on your contact lenses.
Increase hydration when suffering from a urinary tract infection. Consume water or sugar-free cranberry juice throughout the day. Hydrate the body until urine is clear or light yellow in color. Avoid beverages containing caffeine, such as colas or coffee. These drinks will continue to irritate the urinary tract and prolong the healing process.