Most women have experienced a urinary tract infection at some point in their lives. Women experience them much more often than men because the urinary tract from the bladder to the outside of the body is very short in women. In men, because of their penis, and because the urethra doubles as a tube for sperm to exit the body, do not experience this quite as often.
Regardless of what sex you are, you know when you have an infection, as it hurts and burns when you urinate. Does that mean you should use an urgent care clinic, or can you wait to see your doctor? The following will reveal just how urgent a UTI can be.
Stage One of a UTI
In the initial stage of a UTI, you have germs in your urethra and bladder that are causing intense pain, urgency to urinate even when you just went, burning upon urination, and a fever. These symptoms are difficult to ignore at best, and intolerable at worst. You could probably avoid seeing a doctor for up to a week before getting treatment, but your symptoms are only going to get worse. There are also multiple dangers with leaving an UTI untreated.
Stage Two of a UTI
Wow. At this point, you would have to be a veritable tiger to withstand your symptoms. Most people would have already gone to the doctor or passed out from the pain.
During this stage the symptoms are even more painful, and you may start urinating some blood. If your urine suddenly goes from yellow to pinkish or blood red, you are officially in the second stage of a UTI. This is getting even more dangerous, because your bladder is trying to flush itself while the damage the bacteria are doing is causing an excess of red and white blood cells to enter the bladder to help fight the infection. If you continue to avoid treatment at this point, the bacteria will travel from your bladder up into your ureters and to your kidneys.
Stage Three of a UTI
Now the infection is in your kidneys. Your lower back (where your kidneys are located) is also going to be in immense pain. Laying on your back will make you want to cry. The infection is beginning to destroy the kidneys' ability to flush poisons out of your system. Permanent kidney damage is imminent.
Stage Four of a UTI
Now your kidneys are permanently damaged. You are urinating blood every time you go to the bathroom. You will pass out frequently due to the infection, the fever, and the elevated toxins in your bloodstream because the kidneys have been destroyed. Hospitalization will occur. All of this could have been prevented had you just gone to to your doctor or an urgent care clinic in Stage One.