Can You Self-Diagnose Your Own UTI?

If you’ve ever had a urinary tract infection, you know it can feel like the worst thing in the whole world and if you don’t get medicine, like, right now, you may burst into hysterics in the middle of your staff meeting.

Now one doctor is suggesting that you shouldn’t have to wait for treatment and, in a new paper published in The British Medical Journal, makes the case for getting antibiotics without a prescription.

His argument is that most women know a UTI when they have one, and can very accurately self-diagnose. Moreover, drugs like Cipro and Bactrim are extremely effective at clearing things up quickly and are pretty safe in three- to five-day courses. So imagine: Once you noticed the telltale “OMG, I have to pee every second” signs, you could just run to your pharmacy and get the goods--or better yet, have some on hand and at the ready.

The counterargument: If your symptoms are indicative of something more serious (like interstitial cystitis or bladder cancer), it could be a while until you’re accurately diagnosed. And some doctors worry that taking antibiotics too often could make you build up a resistance to them.

So what do you think? Should we be able to self-prescribe? Or should we stick to cranberry juice and doctor appointments for the time being?

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