Always check urinalysis (with a dipstick and microscope) when a patient presents with urgency, frequency, or dysuria. If the findings do not suggest UTI, check the culture before prescribing antibiotics. Consider checking a postvoiding residual since retention can cause the same symptoms. Other differential diagnoses include: (1) distal ureteral stones, (2) prostatitis, (3) nonbacterial cystitis, (4) interstitial cystitis, (5) endometriosis flare, (6) ovarian cyst, and (7) bladder cancer. — MARYBETH HENDRICKS, FNP/ACNP-BC, RNCS, Central, S.C. (145-16)
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