two rolls of toilet paper and an open toilet lid forming a face

How Do I Know
If I Have A UTI?

By Audrey Cabanel
October 18, 2023

You know when you are just trying to have a quick pee and end up with an uncomfortable burning pain? Yup, been there, done that. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are super common and very treatable! Despite being pretty uncomfortable and frustrating, many clear symptoms allow you to understand you have a UTI and just as easily treat it.

UTIs are caused by bacteria from the skin or rectum entering your urethra and infecting the urinary tract. Women are at a higher risk of getting one due to the structure of their urinary tract, the short length of their urethra, and its proximity to the rectum.

Below we help answer the common question of how do I know if I have a UTI and steps to take if you are infected.

How Do I Check for a Urinary Tract Infection?

If you suspect you have a UTI, there are a few different ways to confirm your diagnosis. If you’ve had a UTI in the past, you’ll probably recognize the symptoms—pain, burning, and the frequent need to urinate are dead giveaways that you’re dealing with a UTI! You can order UTI antibiotics from Wisp without the need for appointments or waiting rooms.

If you haven’t had one before, it can be a little more difficult to know—is it a UTI or an STI? Or something else altogether? Many local pharmacies have UTI tests that you buy and take at home to confirm a suspected UTI. You can also go to an urgent care clinic where a doctor or nurse practitioner will run a urinalysis to check for the presence of UTI-causing bacteria.

What Are 3 UTI Symptoms?

The discomfort you feel when you have a UTI is hard to miss. If you are manifesting one or more of these symptoms, you likely have a UTI—and all the better that you know so you can treat it quickly! One of the most common symptoms you’ll feel initially is burning or pain when peeing. It’s a pretty uncomfortable feeling that allows you to know something isn’t quite right. Other symptoms include:

  • The frequent need to urinate even with an empty bladder.
  • Blood in your pee (apart from menstrual blood).
  • Pressure or cramping in the lower abdomen.

If you have these symptoms but are still not quite sure if it's a Urinary Tract Infection or something else, check out our Symptoms Quiz that will help you identify your issue and lead you to great treatments! Usually, if you have a UTI you will have to take antibiotics for a few days and then be on your way. How cool is it that Wisp allows you to get same-day prescriptions? You’ll be singing “Bye-Bye, UTI” in no time!

Can a UTI Go Away on its Own?

Here’s the hard truth, UTIs with symptoms rarely go away on their own. For the small number of asymptomatic people, there is a chance that the UTI will go away on its own, but it’s unlikely. Take it from us, it’s way better and easier to treat it once symptoms start showing signs than waiting for a kidney infection to hit.

Kidney infections are caused when the bacteria in your urethra moves upstream to one or both of your kidneys, due to the lack of treatment of a UTI. If you feel like your symptoms are worsening, it’s important to consult your physician to see if your UTI has escalated to a kidney infection. This can lead to more serious digestive and kidney diseases that take longer to treat. Symptoms of a kidney infection to look out for are:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Lower back pain
  • Nausea and vomiting

Despite being straightforward to treat, there are a lot of myths about how you can get or pass on a UTI, and we’re here to bust those myths. Firstly let’s talk about how you can PREVENT urinary tract infections:

  • Pee after sex (to flush out all the bacteria)
  • Stay SUPER hydrated
  • Take showers instead of baths.
  • Minimize douching, sprays, or powders in the genital area.

Although a UTI can be triggered by sexual activity it cannot be passed onto someone through sex. Sex simply increases the chance of getting bacteria into your urethra, so pee after sex, please! If you are pregnant it’s especially important to treat a UTI as quickly as possible as your enlarged uterus can be pressed against your ureters thus decreasing the flow of pee from your kidney to your bladder.

Other medical issues such as diabetes, HIV, and cancer which cause a weak immune system mean that it’s extra important to treat your UTI as soon as symptoms begin to show.

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