Urinary Tract Infection (cont.)

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Urinary Tract Infection Follow-up

Follow your health-care provider's treatment recommendations. Finish all medications even if you are feeling better before the medication is gone. Your health-care provider will want to see you again to repeat the urinalysis and make sure you are getting better.

  • Children and adults with kidney involvement should be seen again in one to two days.
  • People recovering from uncomplicated lower urinary tract infections should be seen within one week.

Occasionally, the infection does not go away with the first treatment. If you are being treated for an infection and have any of the following, call your health-care provider promptly.

  • Fever or pain with urination is not gone after two days of antibiotic treatment.
  • You cannot keep the medication down or it has severe side effects.
  • You are unable to keep foods, fluids, or medication down because of nausea or vomiting.
  • You develop signs of kidney involvement (such as flank pain, shaking chills, high fever).
  • Your symptoms are worse rather than better after two days of antibiotics.

Urinary Tract Infection Prevention

Women and girls should wipe from front to back (not back to front) after going to the bathroom. This helps prevent bacteria from the anus entering the urethra.

Empty your bladder regularly and completely, especially after sexual intercourse.

Drink plenty of fluids. Cranberry juice, especially, has been shown to help prevent urinary tract infections. There is evidence that cranberries reduce the risk of the bacteria's adhesion to bladder cells.

Urinary Tract Infection Prognosis

For people with uncomplicated cystitis or pyelonephritis, antibiotic treatment usually brings complete resolution of the infection.

If not treated promptly, urinary tract infections can cause permanent scarring of the urinary tract.

Pyelonephritis, if not treated promptly, can spread to the bloodstream and cause a very severe infection.

  • Short-term and long-term kidney damage can be a result of pyelonephritis.
  • Despite appropriate intervention, 1%-3%; of people with pyelonephritis die.
  • Death from pyelonephritis is rare in otherwise healthy people.
  • Factors associated with poor outcome or death are old age or general debility, kidney stones, recent hospitalization, diabetes, sickle cell disease, cancer, or chronic kidney disease.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/21/2013

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