UTI Treatment Online

Urinary tract infections or UTIs are more commonly known as bladder infections and can affect both men and women.


UTI symptoms can vary, but patients typically experience:

  • Frequent urges to urinate
  • Cloudy, dark or bloody urine
  • A burning sensation while urinating
  • Hip pain or lower back pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • And more.

Diagnosing and Treating a UTI Online

Urinary tract infections are one of the most common conditions providers on Amwell treat online.

Some mild UTIs can be treated with over-the-counter remedies, but most will require antibiotics and other medical intervention. Although anyone can get a urinary tract infection, there are several factors that may make a patient more susceptible to an infection, such as exposure to unsanitary water, blockages in the urinary tract, frequent sexual activity, keeping a full bladder, or lack of proper hygiene.

During a video consult on Amwell your provider will ask you a series of targeted questions to determine if your symptoms point to a UTI. Then your provider will proceed to determine the best treatment plan for you. Your provider may recommend in-person if this is needed. Your treatment plan is based on the duration and severity of your symptoms and your medical history. If you have a history of urinary tract infections, be sure to mention this to the provider as it may precipitate a change in what medication is prescribed. If you are unsure whether or not what you are experiencing is a urinary tract infection, an over the counter urine test can be used to help make the diagnosis.

Once a likely diagnosis has been made, your provider will go over the risks and benefits of the various plans.  Depending on the cause and severity of the infection, your plan for a UTI may include:

  • A recommendation of over the counter (OTC) pain medication to relieve discomfort
  • A prescription for an antibiotic
  • A referral to your primary care physician or nearest urgent care center for a urine culture

Note: If you are male, pregnant, or under age 18, it is important to collect a urine sample before you are treated with antibiotics. If you fall into one of these categories you will need to see your primary care physician in person or visit your local urgent care center for testing.

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“I was on vacation and needed to see a doctor for a UTI. This service worked extremely well and was faster than seeking out a doctor in my area.”

- Megan G., Iowa

Ask the Doctor About UTI

Video Transcript

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are something that many women have experienced. They often know the symptoms of burning when they urinate, frequency of urination, or urgency to get to that bathroom only to find that nothing comes out. They also know that they don't have any vaginal discharge. UTIs are one of the most common diagnoses we see through online visits. With the assistance of your mobile device or desktop the doctors at American Well can have a thoughtful conversation with the patient and at the same time assess how comfortable they appear. They also can ensure the patient understands the diagnosis. Once a treatment plan has been made, the doctors can then ask the patient to follow up in about two days if they are not getting better with either their primary care provider or with their online care physician.

Got Questions? We’ve Got Answers.

See below for answers to some of our most common questions. You can also call us anytime 24 hours a day at 1‑844‑SEE‑DOCS for questions about our services or to speak to a doctor about your symptoms or conditions.

  • Can you have sex with a UTI?

    “While it’s not an absolute contraindication, avoiding anything that could irritate or chafe the urethra is probably a good idea so avoiding sex for a few days typical makes sense.” - Dr. Cynthia Horner

    A contraindication is a procedure that doctors advise against based on evidence that it may cause harm to the patient.

  • Are UTI’s contagious?

    Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, arent contagiousThey occur when bacteria from the skin or rectum enter the urethra, the tube that drains urine from your bladder when you urinate.  

    UTIs are more common in women because of their anatomy. The opening of the urethra is close to the vagina and anus, which can harbor infection-causing bacteria, and their shorter urethras make it easier for bacteria to reach the bladder.  

    UTIs occur more often in women who 

    • Start having sex or having it more often 
    • Use spermicide or a diaphragm 
    • Have had UTIs in the past 
    • Are pregnant 
    • Have had several children 
    • Have gone through menopause 
    • Are obese 
    • Have diabetes 

    In men, problems that restrict normal urine flow, such as an enlarged prostate, can cause bladder infections, a type of UTI.

  • Does cranberry juice actually help with UTI’s?

    "There is no conclusive evidence that cranberry juice actually works – the support is mostly anecdotal. If you do choose to try it, I would recommend the cranberry gel capsules with water. You can avoid any of the extra sugars in the juices and it is more concentrated." -Dr. Cynthia Horner

    "Cranberries do contain an ingredient that makes it harder for bacteria to stick to the bladder, but studies have not conclusively shown that there is enough of an effect to cure or prevent infections. However, some patients do feel that it helps and there is no evidence to suggest it is harmful.” - Dr. Michael Gray

  • Can children get UTIs?

    Urinary tract infections are one of the most common bacterial infections of childhood. However, since children may have more serious complications than adults, it is important to collect a urine sample on all children before they are treated with antibiotics. If your online doctor decides that your child may have a UTI, you will need to take your child to your primary care physician or local urgent care center for testing.  

  • Can men get UTIs?

    Men can get UTI’s, but due to human anatomy, it is much less common. Because it is less common and may be a sign of a more serious problem, we do not treat men online as urine culture is required prior to treatment.

  • How can UTI's be prevented?

    “Staying well hydrated is probably the best way to prevent UTI’s. Front to back personal cleansing for women and urinating after intimate activity can also reduce infections.” - Dr. Michael Gray

    ”For women, urinate after sex every time, even if it is only a few drops and always drink a glass of water. In general, hydrating well will help with prevention the most. If you work a job where you are on your feet and don’t get much time for breaks, you have to find time to hydrate and to urinate. Don’t fight your urge to pee – it’s a set up to get a UTI.” - Dr. Antoinette Eng.

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