How to talk to your doctor about your urinary health journey

How to talk to your doctor about your urinary health journey

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This resource was created to help bridge the gap in information exchange between you and your healthcare provider when it comes to discussing your UTI treatment, and diagnostics.

Written by: Sareena Rama
Scientifically reviewed by: Heather Ott MS, RD

Navigating your journey with UTIs can be frustrating – from the complex medical terminology and limited time we get with doctors, it can feel difficult to have productive conversations and exchange information effectively during an appointment.

That's why we've created this resource to help bridge the gap in information exchange between you and your healthcare provider when it comes to discussing your UTI treatment, and diagnostics. We're here with one goal in mind – to provide you with easy-to-understand and trustworthy information that will support you in preparing for your next doctor visit.

To get ready for your appointment, simply follow along with this article and jot down notes to bring with you. For added support, you can download and print our accompanying worksheet, which will help you organize the information you will need for your appointment.

Be an advocate for your health

Remember that knowledge is power when it comes to your health and you know yourself best. This guide and worksheet will support you in taking your health into your hands.

Be sure to thank your doctor for their support and let them know that you are interested in having an active role in making your healthcare decisions. Share your interest in working together as a team to find a solution that works for you and kindly ask them if they're open to collaborating with you in this way. Remember, if you feel dismissed or feel the need to find a new clinician, that you can seek care from another doctor that is willing to collaborate with you.

Determine your goals for this appointment

You may have limited time with your doctor, so having a clear goal for your appointment will make it easier for your clinician to understand exactly what you are looking for.

First, identify if this is a new clinician you are meeting for the first time, or is this a subsequent appointment with a clinician you have been working with? Depending on the answer to this question the goals of your appointment may be different.

Here are some examples of appointment goals:

Example of possible appointment reason: Example of an appointment goal:

If you are looking for diagnostic tests to get the right antibiotic for your infection

I am hoping to get a diagnostic test because I am concerned about antibiotic resistance.

Are you searching for an alternative treatment than what you are already on? Why?

I am looking for an alternative treatment to the current treatment I have because it’s not working for me.

Do you think that you need long-term treatment?

I have had a history of UTIs since I was X years old, nothing is working for me and I think I need a longer term treatment plan.

Are you looking for a referral to a specialist?

I have another health condition and am seeking support from a specialist that understands this condition and how it impacts my recurrent UTIs.

Urinary tract health history

Prepare for your conversation by listing out your history with UTIs. The more information you gather prior to the appointment, the easier it will be to provide a clear and comprehensive picture to your clinician.

Some helpful information for your doctor to know can include on the accompanying worksheet:

  • Mapping out your symptoms and any known triggers.
  • A timeline of confirmed infections and treatments you underwent. You can add details of how effective the previous treatments were for you. If you have had any relevant surgeries, you can include those in your timeline too.
  • If this is a new clinician for you, gather any diagnostic test results or images that are applicable.

Prepare questions for your doctor

Get the most out of your time with your doctor by having a list of questions ready to go ahead of time.

Here are some examples of questions you may have for your doctor:

  • What’s the most likely cause of my symptoms?
  • Are there any other possible causes for my symptoms?
  • Do I need any tests to confirm the diagnosis? If yes, how and when will I receive those tests?
  • What factors do you think may have contributed to my UTI/recurrent UTIs?
  • What treatment approach do you recommend? Are there any side effects?
  • If the first treatment doesn’t work, what will you recommend next? Are there any side effects?
  • Is the treatment you are recommending a long term solution?
  • What types of complications am I at risk for from this condition?
  • What is the risk that this problem will come back?
  • What steps can I take to lower the risk of the infection coming back?
  • Should I see a specialist?

List out medications and/or supplements

Make sure to have a list of all medications and any supplements you are taking to discuss with your clinician. You list them out on the accompanying worksheet. 

If it’s easier for you, you can also bring the ingredients list or bottles to the office with you.

Prepare for their questions

Just as you have questions for your doctor, they might have some questions for you too! Here are some questions your doctor might have for you (1):

  • When did you first notice your symptoms?
  • Have you ever been treated for a bladder or kidney infection?
  • How severe is your discomfort? Can you rate your pain on a scale of 1-10?
  • How often do you urinate?
  • Are your symptoms relieved by urinating?
  • Do you have low back pain?
  • Have you had a fever?
  • Have you noticed vaginal discharge or blood in your urine?
  • Are you sexually active?
  • Do you use contraception? If yes, what kind?
  • Could you be pregnant?
  • Are you being treated for any other medical conditions?
  • Have you ever used a catheter?
  • What treatment was given and how quickly did you get better?

You've got this! Remember to bring your printed worksheet to the appointment to be an advocate for your health. You have the power to make a difference in your urinary health journey.


  1. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, September 14). Urinary tract infection (UTI). Mayo Clinic.