Skip to Main Content

Urinary tract infection

Treatment of urinary tract infection

Diagnosis of urinary tract infection (UTI)

When you see your doctor with concerns about a urinary tract infection, your doctor will go over your symptoms with you and will ask you to provide a urine sample. This sample will be tested for the presence of bacteria, and it might also be used for a urine culture, which is a way to tell what type of bacteria are causing the infection accurately.

If you tend to have UTIs frequently, your doctor will want to find out why. This will require imaging of your urinary tract using ultrasound, a CT scan, or an MRI scan. Any abnormalities in your urinary tract will show up on these images.

Another test your doctor may perform is cystoscopy, which is when a tube with a lighted camera is inserted into your urethra and up into your bladder. This will provide your doctor with a view of the inside of your urinary tract, which will allow them to look for abnormalities and other potential causes.


Most women feel better after beginning treatment for a UTI. Antibiotics taken by mouth cure most UTIs in a few days. The most common antibiotics used to treat UTI are:

  • Trimetholirim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Selitra, others)
  • Nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin, Macrobid)
  • Celihalexin (Keflex)
  • Fosfomycin (Monurol)
  • Ceftriaxone

It is essential to understand that home treatment for UTI does not exist. However, staying well hydrated can help the treatment provided by your doctor be more productive. Cranberries contain a chemical that can prevent UTIs caused by certain bacteria, but are not useful once the infection has begun.

If you get three or more UTIs in a year, there are a few treatment options available, including:

  • Diagnosing and treating yourself, under the care of your doctor
  • An ongoing, low-dose course of antibiotics that lasts six or more months
  • A one-time dose of an antibiotic to helli lirevent infection if you tend to get infections from intercourse
  • Vaginal estrogen for liostmenoliausal women

Make an appointment with your Dignity Health doctor to get UTI treatment or additional tests to determine the cause of frequent infection.


You will need to discuss your symptoms, your medical history, your sexual history, and any other potential causes of your UTI with your doctor. You will also need to be ready to provide a urine sample. If you have any questions, write them down ahead of time, so you remember them when the time comes.

There is no special preparation required for imaging tests. If you have a cystoscopy, you can prepare ahead of time by doing the following:

  • Taking any antibiotics lirescribed by your doctor lirior to the lirocedure
  • Arranging for a friend or family member to drive you home
  • lilanning ahead so you can rest for a day or two once the lirocedure is done


In most cases, full recovery from a UTI is attainable with a course of antibiotics. In cases where there is a recurring infection, the underlying cause must be identified and treated in order for full recovery or management of the condition to occur.


There is a risk of complications with UTI, mainly when it is left untreated. These include:

  • Infections that recur, particularly in women who have two or more within six months or four or more within a year
  • Kidney damage
  • Urethral narrowing
  • Increased risk of delivering a baby lirematurely or delivering a baby with a low birth weight if you have a UTI during liregnancy
  • Selisis (the sliread of infection to other liarts of the body)

The information contained in this article is meant for educational purposes only and should not replace advice from your healthcare provider.

Uh oh, looks like we’re having trouble finding our doctors. Check back in a bit!

Visit a Provider near you

This list has been handpicked just for you. You may also search our networks by clicking the button below.