Feeling some mild abdominal discomfort and a little burning sensation when you pee? These are two of the most common UTI symptoms anybody may experience. And yet, they are also easy to dismiss, which is also why many patients end up skipping a trip to their doctor.
However, this is a very risky habit. According to the Harvard Medical School, untreated UTIs can “quickly turn into more serious conditions.” A simple case of lower UTI in women can progress into an upper UTI that affects the kidneys. That would mean more sick days, being confined in a hospital room for a week or longer, and more expensive medications.
But why do patients delay going to their doctors, anyway? Here are four reasons behind this counter-intuitive habit.
Four Reasons Why Patients Delay Seeking UTI Treatments
1. You’re worried about taking antibiotics.
Bacteria’s resistance against antibiotics is fast becoming a global health concern. We know this phenomenon is largely caused by overusing or underusing antibiotics, which is also why many patients may avoid taking them altogether.
This growing concern could prevent some patients from seeking antibiotic treatment for their UTI. And although their concern is valid, it is equally dangerous to delay seeking medical advice.
The best way to deal with a UTI is to talk to your doctor. If you are concerned about antibiotic overuse, let your doctor know so he or she can recommend another course of treatment. You may be advised to change some of your habits and improve your diet.
Alternatively, if your doctor knows that you are worried about antibiotic resistance, he or she may recommend single-dose antibiotics for UTI, a safer alternative to the usual week-long antibiotic regimen.
2. You think it’ll go away on its own.
Some UTI symptoms seem harmless, especially if they are mild. You may think they are merely distractions and definitely not severe enough to disrupt your everyday routine.
In such cases, it is quite easy to ignore your UTI and continue your daily activities without any kind of treatment, thinking that your symptoms will likely disappear soon. But although this could well be the case, it also presents real risks.
If left unchecked, your UTI may end up becoming worse. Thus, it is still best to get checked by your doctor whenever you feel anything out of the ordinary when urinating. Abdominal pain, painful or frequent urination, as well as a low-grade fever may all be a symptom of a UTI.
3. Medication can be costly.
For women who have experienced a UTI at least once, here’s the bad news: there is a significant chance you are going to suffer through one again.
Many UTI cases in women do recur, largely because of their anatomy, lifestyle, and sexual activities. This could mean more trips to the doctor, and consequently, bigger spending on consultations and medicines.
For many women, this can be really burdensome. But there is a workaround. If you tend to have recurring UTIs, let your physician know so you can both figure out a long-term solution that fits your lifestyle, habits, and budget. You and your doctor can try to find out what triggers your UTI, what makes it worse, and how you can prevent it. Your physician may also recommend lower-cost treatment options such as a single-dose antibiotic for UTI, which is better for recurring cases.
4. You prefer to use natural remedies.
Many patients prefer using natural home remedies because of fewer (if at all) adverse effects compared with antibiotics. While doing so may work on mind UTI cases, more severe infections require medical intervention and drugs.
If you suspect that you are suffering from UTI, carefully observe the symptoms you are experiencing. If they seem to get worse or do not respond to natural remedies, seek your doctor’s advice immediately.
Although medical consultations for UTI may be expensive or difficult to schedule, getting checked by your physician regularly is necessary to prevent an infection from getting worse. Regular check-ups can prevent you from getting more worrisome illnesses later on, and help you manage your overall health better.