Sexual Health

Does Urgent Care Treat UTIs?

Alyssa Corso27 Sep 2021

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that occurs in your urinary system. This includes infections in your uterus, kidneys, urethra, and bladder. Most infections occur in women and the lower tract — the bladder and urethra. There are several diagnostic tests for UTIs. The cost of UTI treatment ranges from $250 to $500.

Treating a UTI without insurance can be expensive. With Mira, you can access urgent care clinics near you, affordable lab testing, and discounted prescriptions. Sign up today and get the immediate testing and treatment you need. 

UTI Treatment at Urgent Care Centers

If you are experiencing a medical emergency due to a UTI, you should immediately seek treatment from an emergency room. However, if you are not experiencing a medical emergency and are experiencing symptoms, visiting an urgent care center may be the right choice because of the immediate and affordable treatment.

Many urgent care centers offer UTI treatment as one of their services. The following urgent care clinics provide treatment for UTIs: 

  • CityMD
  • ProHealth Circle Urgent Care
  • GoHealth Urgent Care
  • MinuteClinic
  • GoHealth
  • MedExpress
  • PhysicianOne Urgent Care
  • RapidMed Urgent Care
  • MultiCare Indigo Urgent Care
  • Physicians Immediate Care

The Cost to Treat a UTI at Urgent Care

Mira's research indicates that the price of the UTI test alone can exceed $80. In addition, antibiotic treatments for UTIs can be as much as $300. 

Along with administrative fees and other diagnostic tests, seeking treatment for a UTI at an urgent care clinic may cost you hundreds of dollars. 

When seeking treatment for a UTI, your total out-of-pocket cost will depend on several factors listed below.

  • Insurance Status
  • Type of Insurance
  • Type of UTI Diagnostic Test
  • Additional Diagnostic Tests
  • Prescription Medication / Drugs
  • Office Visit + Administrative Fees

If you're worried about costs, then you should look for help in identifying a coverage option that will include all of your treatment costs for a single, low price

UTI Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What causes UTIs?

While unprotected sex can cause a UTI, similar to STIs, anything that may upset the natural flora of the urinary tract can lead to a urinary tract infection. Some examples include dehydration, holding in your pee, hygiene products, and more.

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What are the symptoms of a UTI?

Symptoms of UTIs include, but are not limited to:

  • Pain when urinating
  • Burning sensation when urinating
  • Blood in your urine
  • Strong urge to urinate often.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you might consider seeking a diagnostic test for a UTI. Once you receive a diagnosis, your healthcare provider can advise you on your options moving forward. If you conduct an at-home UTI test and it comes back positive, you should seek care from a doctor.

Dr. Gaither, double board-certified in OB/GYN and Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Director of Perinatal Services at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, says, "If you suspect that you have a UTI, it's best to have it evaluated and treated with antibiotic by a health provider. Complications of an untreated UTI with the appropriate antibiotics include pyelonephritis (kidney infection), sepsis (overwhelming bacterial infection), and possibly death".

How are UTIs diagnosed? 

According to Dr. Gaither, to diagnose a UTI, "a physical exam will be done with a sample of urine for analysis-- if suspicion exists for pyelonephritis /kidney stone, a renal ultrasound will be done. The patient will be initiated on an antibiotic. If the urine culture reveals that the bacteria is resistant to the particular antibiotic that has been prescribed, it will be changed. An urgent care facility, as well as a physician's office, should be able to handle the diagnosis and treatment of a UTI."

Although all of these tests are used to determine if you have a UTI, the type of test that you receive can affect your out-of-pocket cost.

How are UTIs treated?

Treatment for UTIs depends on the severity of your infection. Simple infections tend to consist of some pain and discomfort in your urinary tract. 

Below we list some of the common treatments for simple infections, frequent infections, and severe infections. Ultimately, your health care provider will determine what treatment course is best for you.  

Simple infection*

  • Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra, others)
  • Fosfomycin (Monurol)
  • Nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin, Macrobid)
  • Cephalexin (Keflex)
  • Ceftriaxone

*These are the names of common antibiotics used to treat UTIs. In general, patients will take these antibiotics for 3-7 days to treat a UTI. 

Frequent Infection

  • Low-dose antibiotics, initially for six months but sometimes longer
  • Self-diagnosis and treatment, if you stay in touch with your doctor
  • A single dose of an antibiotic after sexual intercourse if your infections are related to sexual activity
  • Vaginal estrogen therapy if you're postmenopausal

Severe Infection

  • Intravenous antibiotics in a hospital

Can I treat a UTI at home? 

Dr. Jenna Liphart Rhoads, BSN, MS, and Ph.D., nurse, educator, and writer at NurseTogether,  says people who have frequent urinary tract infections may want to try these tips at home, which aid in the prevention and treatment of UTIs.

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  1. Drink plenty of water: Frequent emptying of the urinary bladder will flush bacteria and other microbes out of the urethra. Also, diluted urine will be less painful to excrete than concentrated urine.
  2. Drink cranberry juice: Cranberry juice is naturally very acidic. The juice's acidity will aid in eliminating bacteria and other microbes in the urinary tract that are eliminating causing an infection.
  3. Empty your bladder completely and frequently: The longer the urine is present in the bladder and urethra, the more time the bacteria and microbes present have to grow and multiply.

Note: These are suggestions to use alongside your doctor's treatment plan, not to replace any medical advice.

Avoiding High Costs When Treating a UTI at Urgent Care

Seeking help from urgent care can be expensive and non-transparent. Several options can help you reduce your out-of-pocket cost, especially if you do not have insurance or your insurance has high deductibles. 

Several pharmacies, such as Walgreens, CVS, and Publix, offer at-home UTI testing kits. These kits are approximately $15 and provide results in under five minutes. 

If you think you have a UTI but do not want to go to urgent care to get diagnosed, these testing kits exist as an alternative. 

If you test positive using an at-home kit, you should seek medical attention to get appropriately treated. If you test negative but you continue to experience symptoms, you may want to be seen by a health care provider to help determine the cause of your symptoms. 

With Mira, your $99 co-pay will cover your entire urgent care visit. For just $45 per month, you will have access to hundreds of urgent care clinics, 80% off prescriptions, and affordable lab testing. Get covered today.

Outlined below are several questions you can ask the team at the urgent care clinic that might help you save money.

  • How much is the total out-of-pocket cost?
  • How much is the diagnostic test for a UTI?
  • How much is the treatment for a UTI?
  • Are there administrative fees or fees for seeing a provider?
  • Is one type of medicine cheaper than another?
  • Is one type of diagnostic test cheaper than another?
  • What are my alternatives?

The Bottom Line

UTIs can be treated at urgent care centers. However, they can be costly without insurance. The patient would have to pay for the office visit, as well as other out-of-pocket costs such as diagnostic tests and treatment. You can also join Mira and save hundreds on treatment for a UTI. Sign up today.