Urinary tract infection (UTI), what exactly is it and what can you do to prevent them?

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection caused by bacteria that occurs in any part of the urinary system, such as the bladder, urethra, ureters, and kidneys. An infection of the urethra and bladder is considered a lower urinary tract infection, and an infection of the ureters and kidneys is considered an upper urinary tract infection. The most common type of a urinary tract infection is a bladder infection, also known as cystitis.

UTIs occur when bacteria enter and infect the urinary tract. Females are at a higher risk of developing a UTI than males.

Risk factors and causes include:

  • A previous UTI
  • Sexual activity
  • Pregnancy
  • Elderly
  • Urinary catheter
  • Kidney stones
  • Enlarged prostate

Common symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI) can include:

  • Pain or burning while urinating
  • Pain in the lower abdomen or back
  • Increased frequency of urination / increased urge to urinate
  • Blood in the urine
  • Fever may or may not be present along with these symptoms.

If you have any of the symptoms above, then please get in touch. We will be able to help with a diagnosis and determine if an antibiotic treatment is necessary. Germs are becoming more resistant to antibiotics and taking drugs when not needed is only fuelling the problem. If you are given a prescription, take the antibiotic exactly how your health care provider recommends. Do not skip any doses, share medication, or save any leftover pills. Drink plenty of water to help clear the bacteria from your body. Phenazopyridine may help lessen the pain or discomfort but does not cure the infection. If you take this medicine, continue taking your antibiotics at the same time.

There are many ways to help prevent future UTIs, here are a few examples:

  • Urinate before and after sexual activity
  • Stay well-hydrated and urinate regularly
  • Take showers instead of baths
  • Minimise douching and sprays or powders in the genital area
  • Wipe front to back when toileting

This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.