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Does a UTI always need to be treated with an antibiotic?

Medically reviewed by Last updated on March 31, 2023.

Official answer


A UTI (urinary tract infection) should usually be treated with an antibiotic.

Bacteria do not normally live in the urinary tract, and even mild infections can lead to complications, so it is important to seek the advice of your health care provider.

An untreated bladder infection (cystitis) may progress to a kidney infection (pyelonephritis).

Other conditions with symptoms similar to a UTI, such as a vaginal yeast infection or inflammation of the urethra can occur, so it is important to have an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

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