One common problem we see here at Portland Urgent Care and with our MobilMED services is urinary tract infections, or UTIs. These infections are caused by bacteria, usually E. coli — although recent findings have indicated that Group B streptococcus may also cause UTIs.
An infection begins when bacteria enters the system through the urethra, the duct through which urine is evacuated from the body. This bacteria causes an infection in the bladder and, more seriously, the kidneys.
Everyone is vulnerable to a urinary tract infection, including chronic UTIs, in which symptoms can flare up several times in one year.
Women are more likely than men to have UTIs; this is likely due to the fact that the female urethra is both shorter than that of males and is situated close to the rectum.
If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of a urinary tract infection, it’s a good idea to contact Portland Urgent Care and seek medical advice. We’ll take a sample of your urine and analyze it in our onsite lab to determine what, if any, bacteria are present and to determine if they’re causing a bladder or kidney infection. Lab testing is also necessary in order to prescribe the appropriate antibiotic to kill the specific bacteria causing the infection, if any.
Remember: Once you have been prescribed medication, it’s critical that you take all the medication as directed, even if you begin to feel better. This ensures that the bacteria are killed and makes it less likely that bacteria will become stronger and develop resistance to the antibiotic.