UTIs affect half of all women

Half of women will experience UTIs at some point in their lives
UTIs affect half of all women

Women are far more likely than men to suffer from UTIs.

URINARY Tract Infections, or UTIs, are unfortunately a fact of life, and something around half of us women will experience at some point in our lives.

We are far more likely than men to suffer from UTIs too.

The good news is that while they can be painful and inconvenient, they are mostly easy to treat and cure.

It’s really important you don’t let embarrassment about your urinary or sexual health concerns put you off dealing with any symptoms you’re experiencing. 

Your pharmacist or GP has seen and heard everything before, and you’ll recover much more quickly if you address it as soon as possible. So here are the top things you need to know about a UTI:

What is a UTI?

A Urinary Tract Infection can develop when certain bacteria find their way into and grow in a person’s bladder, the tube that brings urine out of the bladder or in the kidneys. Because their urinary tract is shorter than a man’s, these infections occur more frequently among women, and can be very common in pregnancy.

How do I know if I have a UTI?

The most common symptoms are feeling pain or a stinging sensation when you pass urine, your urine is cloudy, or when you feel the need to go to the toilet a lot, but there isn’t much urine there when you do. Sometimes you can have back pain that radiates down to your legs or even a fever - UTIs can make you feel really unwell.

What’s the treatment for a UTI?

If you suspect you’ve developed a UTI, go to your GP or maternity hospital doctor if you’re attending one. They’ll probably do a urine dip to see if you have these bacteria in your system.

Sometimes if you have symptoms that suggest a UTI but the usual bacteria aren’t showing up, the doctor will send a urine sample to a lab to check it out and make sure you get the best treatment for you.

If you have a UTI you’ll likely be prescribed an antibiotic to treat it.

How can I prevent UTIs?

There are really simple ways to help prevent picking up a urinary tract infection:

  • Opt for loose, cotton underwear
  • Wipe from front to back when you go to the toilet
  • Go to the toilet after sex
  • Avoid using perfumed products

The most important thing to remember is to keep the area clean and dry - all of the above suggestions will help with that.

Your community pharmacy can advise you on all of this too. I’ve found our local CarePlus Pharmacy to be a mine of information around over the counter treatments for many ailments and they will have plenty of information on UTIs too.

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