Diagnosing and treating bladder infections is common through online urgent care telemedicine services.
For most people, if you have had one, you never forget what it feels like. The feeling of having to constantly pee but next to nothing comes out. And it can burn and sting like your on fire down there. Sometimes the urine can turn bloody too and it might look like you are peeing fire.
Welcome to the world of bladder infections, also known as a urinary tract infection (or UTI), or less commonly known as cystitis. This very annoying and uncomfortable infection is easy to treat if caught early enough. Catching it early enough is usually easy to due because those symptoms usually make it difficult to ignore.
Yet, if left untreated long enough, the infection could spread up the urinary tract to the kidneys. The risk of becoming much sicker also increases. So let’s not let that happen, right?
Common symptoms of a bladder infection include
- A feeling of the need to urinate frequently
- A burning or painful sensation while urinating
- Occasionally blood in the urine
- Discomfort just above the pubic bone and the low back
- Cloudy urine
- Rarely a fever
- Mid-back and side pain possible(more suggestive of kidney infection)
- Other less common symptoms
The video diagnosis
Bladder infections can be diagnosed and treated through a video evaluation. Before engaging in the video consult, if you have access to a thermometer and a urinary infection test kit, go ahead and grab them. The over-the-counter home tests for bladder infections are available at many supermarkets and pharmacies. They are relatively inexpensive; running in the $10 – $14 range.
These tests work by testing for leukocyte esterase and nitrites. The white blood cells of the immune system create Leukocyte esterase as they try and deal with an infection. If this is positive it is a decent indicator of a bladder infection. The white blood cells could be present due to some other source of infection or inflammation in that area such as a vaginal infection or even some skin inflammation. If the Nitrites are also positive, you can be quite sure you have a bladder infection.
But the reality is that the test is not always needed. When you get online with the medical provider, like in a doctor’s office, several questions are asked to help narrow down the diagnosis.
These questions may include asking about fevers, back pain, stomach pain, risk of pregnancy, risk of sexually transmitted diseases, past bladder or kidney infections, past abdominal surgeries, other symptoms, and more.
Then the medical provider will perform a physical exam which is where your thermometer comes in handy if you have one. Additional parts of the exam may include checking your heart rate, having you push on your stomach in specific areas, and you or a trusted assistant of yours may be directed to tap on the area of your back over your kidneys to get a sense if it seems like the infection may be spreading there.
After the exam, now is the time to discuss your treatment options. If you happened to have performed a urinary tract infection home-test, those results can now be discussed as part of the decision about the best way to take care of you. The provider may suggest some over-the-counter medications, may suggest and prescribe antibiotics, and in some situations, may advise that you need to get seen in person.
If the symptoms and findings fit the diagnosis of a bladder infection, treatment is usually straight-forward and can be started without you having to travel anywhere other than to go pick up your medication.
Prevention of bladder infections
Bladder infections are very common but there are some steps that may help in preventing some of them:
Drink plenty of fluids
Urinate shortly after having sex
Have good urinary hygiene (making sure wiping is done front to back rather than back to front)
Avoid tight-fitting, non-breathable underwear
Avoid using spermicidal jelly and diaphragms
For women with a history of multiple infections, they may be advised to take a low dose antibiotic regularly
In post-menopausal women, they may be advised to use estrogen creams or suppositories
Bladder infections are commonly treated with a short-course of antibiotics if the infection is believed to be a simple, non-complicated one. For more complicated situations, the course of the antibiotics may be extended.
In addition to prescribed antibiotics, the use of off-the-shelf medications like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and phenazopyridine may be recommended.
For more severe or complicated cases, the telemedicine provider is likely going to recommend in-person care as intravenous antibiotics, special testing or procedures, and occasionally hospitalization is needed.
Most of the time, bladder infections are easy to diagnose and easy to treat. Getting seen online by an experienced telemedicine provider could save you some time and money. Your evaluation is private and secure, your health and safety are a priority, and your treatment is the same as you would receive if diagnosed in person at an office, clinic, urgent care, or ER.
You can receive quality care in a convenient and affordable manner from the comfort of wherever you are.
**This writing is not meant for direct advice or treatment of your particular situation. It is for educational purposes only. This article is also geared towards adult non-pregnant women and does not address men, pregnant women, or children under 16 years old. Image attached to this article is Designed by Freepik**