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Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Diagnosis and Treatment

The diagnosis of UTI will usually be made after asking about the symptoms and testing a urine sample to assess the presence of blood cells and bacteria. Sometimes a urine sample is sent to the laboratory for microscopy and culture to identify the specific cause of the infection and to determine which antibiotics are most suitable to treat the infections.

Since urinary tract infections are normally caused by bacteria, they are usually treated successfully with antibiotics. The course of antibiotics is taken orally, usually from three to ten days depending on circumstances. The symptoms of UTIs are usually go away within one to two days after antibiotics being given, but it is important to finish the full course of antibiotics as prescribed. Because not finishing a course of antibiotics may allow the infection to return.

If a person has recurrent UTIs, the health care provider may make certain treatment recommendations, such as:

  • Taking low dose antibiotics for six months but sometimes longer.
  • Taking antibiotic after sexual intercourse if your infections are related to sexual activity.
  • Vaginal estrogen therapy if you’re postmenopausal.

If kidney infection develops, hospitalisation may be required so that antibiotics can be administered through a drip. Hospital treatment involves injecting fluids and antibiotics through a vein. Some people may need surgery if the infection is caused by a problem with the structure of the urinary tract.

Children with UTIs usually need to take antibiotics for 7 to 14 days, sometimes longer. They may require further testing to make sure their urine is not traveling back up into the kidneys.

Remember it is important to complete the course of antibiotics which your doctor orders for your child. If your child has a fever and is unable to take medicine by mouth, the antibiotics may be put directly into a vein or injected into a muscle.