How Does Urgent Care Test for UTI? A Quick Guide

How does urgent care test for UTI? Get insights into the rapid urine analysis and screening methods used for quick UTI detection at urgent care clinics.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are quite common and cause a lot of discomfort. Symptoms include pain while urinating, needing to pee often, and feeling like you have to go but can’t wait. If you suspect a UTI, see a doctor. They will likely give you antibiotics.

If you can’t get to your usual doctor, an urgent care center is a good second choice. They often treat UTIs and can check, diagnose, and start your treatment.1

Key Takeaways

  • Women are more prone to UTIs than men. About one in five women will get a UTI at some point.1
  • Urgent care centers are good for UTIs and usually take walk-ins.1
  • Going to an urgent care is cheaper than an ER for UTIs.1
  • UTIs are often treated with antibiotics. Staying hydrated and clean can also prevent them.1
  • About half of all women will have a UTI. Men have a lower risk, about 1 in 10.2

Understanding Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

A UTI is a bacterial infection in the urinary tract. This system takes waste and extra water out of our bodies.1 It includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Most UTIs affect the bladder and urethra. Doctors can easily treat them with antibiotics.

What is a UTI?

UTIs show up with symptoms like burning when you pee, needing to go often, and urine that looks off. You might also feel pelvic pain and have a fever.1 Bacteria cause UTIs. They get into the body through the urethra. Things like sex, your age and gender, how often you go to the bathroom, and how you clean yourself can raise your chances of getting a UTI.1

Symptoms of a UTI

Women are much more likely than men to get UTIs.1 One in five women will get a UTI at some point, says the National Kidney Foundation.3 If almost 80% of premenopausal women with UTIs had sex in the last 24 hours.1

Causes of UTIs

Constipation, diarrhea, kidney stones, high blood sugar, and menstrual hygiene issues can make getting a UTI more likely. So can changes in hormonal levels and some contraceptives.1 Drinking plenty of water is good for UTI prevention, especially in hot weather.1 Holding your pee for six hours or more can up the risk of bladder bacteria overgrowth.1

A doctor might use urinalysis to figure out why you keep getting UTIs. This test checks urine for red and white blood cells, plus bacteria.1 UTIs rarely vanish by themselves. Antibiotics are usually the first choice for treatment.1

Prevention TipsTreatment Options
  • Drink 6-8 glasses of water per day1
  • Consume foods high in vitamin C1
  • Urinate promptly after feeling the need3
  • Practice good genital hygiene1
  • Antibiotics based on bacteria type1,3
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Cranberry juice and probiotics (inconclusive)3

Can I Go to Urgent Care for a UTI?

Absolutely, urgent care centers are a great place to get help for a UTI.4 They can test, diagnose, and treat your UTI.4 Going to urgent care means you’ll see someone quickly, versus waiting to see your regular doctor. Plus, it’s often cheaper than going to the ER.4

Benefits of Visiting Urgent Care for UTIs

4 Doctors at urgent care can give you antibiotics for your UTI, just like your usual doctor can.4 You won’t have to wait days for treatment.4 And at places like Portland Urgent Care, they can do lab tests on-site. This means they can figure out the best treatment plan quickly.4

When to Seek Urgent Care for UTI Treatment

If your UTI symptoms are bad and won’t go away, you should go to urgent care.5 Getting help early can stop the infection from reaching your kidneys. That’s really important.45 Don’t put off seeking treatment. If you wait, the UTI might get worse and harder to treat.5

How Does Urgent Care Test for UTI?

At an urgent care center, the doctor will recommend a urinalysis.1 They look for bacteria and white blood cells.6 A urine culture might also be ordered. It’s sent to a lab to check for bacteria.6 The lab can then find the exact bacteria causing the infection. This helps in choosing the best medicine.6 Then, you’ll get the right antibiotic to treat the UTI.

Identifying Bacteria and Treatment Options

UTIs are often caused by bacteria like E. coli from the digestive tract.6 Testing for a UTI includes a culture to find the infection’s bacteria.6 Another test is the urine dipstick. It shows if you have a UTI.6 CityMD urgent cares specialize in UTI tests and treatment, making sure you get better.6

Key UTI Testing MethodsDescription
UrinalysisDetects bacteria, white blood cells, and other indicators of a UTI
Urine CultureIdentifies the specific bacteria causing the infection to determine the best antibiotic treatment
Urine Dipstick TestChecks for substances in the urine that signal a potential UTI

Diagnosis and Treatment at Urgent Care

When you’re at urgent care with a possible urinary tract infection (UTI), the doctor will start with a check-up and ask about your health history. This is to be sure it’s a urgent care UTI diagnosis and not something else causing your symptoms. Next, they’ll give you an antibiotic medication for the UTI.

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4 Remember, it’s key to follow the entire antibiotic course, even if you feel better sooner. This ensures the infection is completely gone. Urgent care doctors can both diagnose and treat UTIs just like family doctors can.

Physical Examination and Medical History

During the physical exam for UTI at urgent care, the doctor will ask you questions and look into your health past. They might also check you in your pelvic area to find infection signs. This whole process guides them in making the best urgent care UTI treatment plan for you.

Antibiotic Prescription for UTI Treatment

After the physical exam and any needed tests, the doctor will select the right antibiotics for your UTI.4 Antibiotics work fast and well on UTIs.4 But, it’s very important to use the antibiotics as told, even if you think you’re getting better. This is to fully remove the infection and lower chances of it coming back.

Urgent Care vs. Emergency Room for UTIs

If you have a UTI, urgent care is usually the best place to go. But sometimes, going to the emergency room is necessary. Symptoms like back/side pain, a high fever, and blood in urine could mean a kidney infection. For these serious signs, the ER is the right choice7. For most UTIs, urgent care is better. It’s quicker and costs less than the ER.7

When to Visit the Emergency Room

Signs that you need the ER for a UTI include a high fever and bad chills.7 Pregnant women, the elderly, and those with health issues should get special care.7

Cost and Convenience of Urgent Care

Urgent care is faster and cheaper than the ER for UTIs.7 It costs about $200 at urgent care, but $2,000 at the ER.7 Plus, using urgent care instead of the ER can save $4 billion each year.7

Preventing UTIs

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) happen a lot, but you can cut the risk. Drinking lots of water helps get rid of bacteria from your urinary tract.3 Also, keep your private parts clean. Always wipe from front to back. Stay away from scented soaps and other products.8

Hydration and Hygiene Tips

Staying hydrated and keeping clean are vital to avoid UTIs. Drink water often to cleanse your urinary system and keep bacteria away.8 Remember to practice good hygiene. Wipe the right way after going to the bathroom. Don’t use products that can harm your skin.8

Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Risk

Changing some habits can also prevent UTIs from coming back. Always pee after sex. Don’t let yourself get backed up. Manage health issues, like diabetes, that make UTIs more likely.8 Doing these things can help you avoid UTIs and the need for strong medicines.3

When to See a Medical Professional

If you have signs of a UTI, like pain when peeing, needing to pee a lot, or pain in your belly, see a doctor right away.5 It’s crucial to get checked early to stop the infection from getting to your kidneys.5 Putting off getting help can make the UTI tougher to beat.5

Don’t wait if you think it’s a UTI. Call your doctor or go to urgent care to find out and start treatment.5

Home Remedies for UTI Relief

If you have a UTI, your doctor will likely give you antibiotics. But, there are things you can do at home to feel better before the meds kick in.9 Take over-the-counter painkillers, like ibuprofen, to help with the pain and urge to pee. Drinking lots of water, using a warm heating pad, and taking vitamin C or cranberry supplements can also ease your symptoms.3 Remember, these steps are just to help while you see a doctor. They don’t replace the need for antibiotics to clear the infection.

Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

Things like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can make a UTI hurt less for a while. But be careful – untreated UTIs can lead to kidney problems.10 Medicines like Phenazopyridine and AZO can also help lessen the discomfort for UTI pain.9 They’re available by prescription or over-the-counter.9

Natural Remedies and Supplements

Supplements such as vitamin C and cranberry extract may ease UTI symptoms for some.10 Eating cranberries may prevent UTIs by stopping the harmful bacteria from sticking in your bladder. D-Mannose, found in cranberries, is good for fighting E. coli UTIs.10 Plenty of water and foods rich in vitamin C can strengthen your body’s fight against UTIs too.3

How Does Urgent Care Test for UTI?

At an urgent care clinic, testing for a1 urinary tract infection (UTI) starts with a urine sample. You’ll provide a small amount of urine for checking. The clinics have labs that can do tests right away. These tests look for bacteria, white blood cells, and signs of a UTI.

Urine Sample Collection

The first step in checking for a UTI at urgent care is taking a urine sample. This helps the doctor see if there’s bacteria or white blood cells. You’ll be asked to prepare by cleaning yourself before you pee in a small, clean container.

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Rapid Testing Methods

Urgent care centers use fast tests, like a dipstick urinalysis, on your urine. This test can find bacteria, blood, protein, and other clues of a UTI quickly.3If the doctor feels a more detailed test is needed, they might ask for a urine culture. This tells them exactly which bacteria is causing the infection so they can give you the right medicine.

UTIs in Women vs. Men

UTIs affect women much more than men. Women are 10 times more likely than men to suffer from a UTI. This could happen to 1 out of 5 women in their lives. The main reason for this is the shorter female urethra, which makes it easier for bacteria to enter the bladder.111

Risk Factors for Women

For women, several factors can raise the chance of getting a UTI. These include having sex, being pregnant or in menopause, and poor genital hygiene. Around 80% of women who are not yet in menopause and have a UTI, had sex in the past day.1 Other things that might put women at higher risk include how much they drink, how often they go to the bathroom, and if they have kidney stones.1

Signs and Symptoms in Men

Men can get UTIs too, but it happens less often, only 12% of cases.12 They might feel like urinating a lot, a burning feeling, or pain in the pelvic area. However, men’s symptoms can be less noticeable than in women.11 For men, getting UTIs often might lead to a narrowing of the urethra, which is dangerous.12

Recurrent UTIs

Some people get UTIs often, meaning they have two or more in six months.1 This problem can be annoying and change your life a lot. You will need to take antibiotics often. It’s important to know why UTIs happen a lot and how to stop them.

Causes of Frequent UTIs

Having sex, diabetes, certain kinds of birth control, and how your body is shaped can lead to lots of UTIs.14 For example, one in five women will get a UTI. The chances are even higher when you are pregnant, going through menopause, or after it.14

Prevention Strategies for Recurrent Infections

Drinking a lot of water can help stop UTIs from happening over and over.1 It’s also key to keep your private areas clean and avoid scented products.1 Going to the bathroom after sex helps too, as 80% of women who get UTIs recently had sex. Fixing health issues like diabetes also cuts down UTI risk.

If you keep getting UTIs, even after trying these steps, your doctor can suggest more treatments. These might include taking a small amount of antibiotics every day or changing some behaviors.13 With help from your doctor and some smart steps, recurrent UTIs can be controlled.

Complications of Untreated UTIs

Most UTIs get better with antibiotics. But not treating one can lead to worse problems.4 If it reaches your kidneys, it’s called a kidney infection. It brings high fever, chills, nausea, and back pain. You might need IV antibiotics or a hospital stay.2 If left untreated, UTIs can turn into sepsis, a life-threatening condition.

Kidney Infection and Sepsis

When a UTI isn’t treated, it can cause pyelonephritis, a kidney infection.2 You’ll feel sick with a fever, chills, and severe back pain. This can turn into sepsis, which is very dangerous. Your body fights the infection too hard, damaging organs.2 Fast antibiotic treatment is crucial to avoid these severe risks.

Pregnancy Risks

Expecting mothers are more at risk from UTIs left untreated.4 Not treating one raises the chance of early birth and other problems. It’s very important for pregnant women to get quick help for any UTI signs.

Telemedicine Options for UTI Treatment

You can get UTI treatment through telemedicine, not just in urgent care.14 Using online consultations, healthcare providers can diagnose you and send a prescription. You don’t need to visit a clinic.14

Online Consultations with Healthcare Providers

Board-certified doctors are ready to help with UTIs over the phone or online 24/7.15 You can talk to them from anywhere, like home, as long as you have internet.14

Benefits of Telemedicine for UTIs

Telemedicine has many pluses for UTIs.14 Such as, you can get care quickly from your couch. It usually costs less than seeing a doctor in person or waiting in long lines.15 Doctor On Demand, for example, is paid for by many health plans. Over 98 million people can use it.15 But, you might still need lab tests like a urine sample, which the doctor will tell you about.

UTIs are easily treated through telehealth.14 Most times, they affect the bladder and urethra. Women tend to get them more. They might have symptoms like discharge, feeling like they have to pee all the time, or dark or smelly urine. Sometimes, they may feel sick or have a fever.14 A UTI type, bladder infection, often comes from E. coli in the gut.15

Not treating a UTI can make it worse and more dangerous.14 It could cause sepsis, a severe illness. Doctors will likely give you antibiotics.14 But women should know, these can sometimes cause yeast infections.15

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Telehealth for UTIs is said to be fast, affordable, and it works.14 Doctor On Demand doctors are rated very highly.15 Sometimes, they can diagnose you without needing a lab test. They just ask about your symptoms and health history.15 Things that might raise your UTI risk include how your body is shaped, using birth control, going through menopause, some drugs, and being sexually active.15


Urinary tract infections are quite common but can be easily treated. They’re managed well with quick medical attention. If you think you might have a UTI, going to an urgent care clinic is a smart move.

At the clinic, you’ll be tested fast and given the right medicine. This helps clear the infection by targeting the specific bacteria causing it. So, the right care will help you feel better quickly.416

Getting care at an urgent clinic can ease your symptoms and prevent further issues. To avoid UTIs coming back, drink plenty of fluids and keep clean. These steps are crucial to staying healthy.416

Urgent care centers are affordable and easy to reach when dealing with UTIs. They can check your urine and start antibiotic therapy right away. This quick service is available even on weekends thanks to their longer hours.416 For example, places like Portland Urgent Care are there to help you feel better as soon as possible.


What is a UTI?

A UTI is a bacterial infection in the urinary system. It affects parts like the kidneys, bladder, and more. Most UTIs happen in the bladder and urethra. They’re usually easy to treat with medication.

What are the symptoms of a UTI?

UTI symptoms are a burning feeling during urination, needing to pee often, and urine that looks cloudy. Other signs include strong-smelling urine, pelvic pain, and sometimes fever.

What causes UTIs?

Bacteria that enter through the urethra mainly cause UTIs. Factors like sex, age, and personal hygiene can increase the risk of getting one.

Can I go to urgent care for a UTI?

Yes, urgent care centers are good places to go for UTIs. They can test and treat you quickly. This is usually faster than waiting for a primary care appointment.

What benefits are there to visiting urgent care for a UTI?

Urgent care for UTIs means shorter waits and lower costs than emergency rooms. Plus, their doctors can prescribe the same antibiotics as your regular doctor.

When should I seek urgent care for a UTI?

Go to urgent care if your symptoms are strong and keep coming back. Treating UTIs early is important to prevent the infection from getting to your kidneys.

How does urgent care test for a UTI?

They’ll likely do a urinalysis or urine test to confirm a UTI. For more details, they might also do a urine culture. This shows what bacteria is causing your UTI.

What happens during the diagnosis and treatment at urgent care?

The doctor will check you out and ask about your health history. Then, they’ll give you the right antibiotics to fight the UTI.

When should I go to the emergency room instead of urgent care for a UTI?

If you have serious symptoms like high fever or blood in your urine, go to the emergency room. These signs could mean a more serious infection in your kidneys.

How can I prevent UTIs?

To reduce UTI risk, stay hydrated and keep your genital area clean. It also helps to pee after sex, avoid constipation, and manage health conditions like diabetes.

When should I see a medical provider for a suspected UTI?

If you think you have a UTI, see a doctor as soon as symptoms start. Early treatment can stop the infection from getting worse.

What home remedies can provide relief for a UTI?

For some relief from UTI pain, try over-the-counter pain killers and plenty of fluids. A heating pad also helps. But remember, you still need to see a doctor for proper treatment.

How do UTIs differ between women and men?

UTIs are more common in women because their urethra is shorter. Men can also get UTIs. But these happen less often and might show milder symptoms.

What causes recurrent UTIs?

Frequent UTIs can be triggered by sex, diabetes, some birth control methods, and physical issues. More steps might be needed to decrease how often they happen.

What are the complications of untreated UTIs?

Not treating a UTI can lead to severe issues like a kidney infection or even sepsis. These are very serious and need immediate medical attention.

Can I get UTI treatment through telemedicine?

Yes, you can also get UTI help through telemedicine. This means you can get diagnosed and get a prescription without going to a physical clinic.

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