How do you know if you have a Urinary Tract Infection?
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can often make you feel extremely uncomfortable, and stop you doing normal things in your life. The upside is most infections are not serious and are short lived. But how do you know if you have a urinary tract infection? Well, there are ways in which you can tell if you have a UTI.
Urinary tract infection is a really frequent medical complaint, and is more common women than men. In fact, half of all women in their lives will get at least one UTI. This is all due to females having a shorter urethra than men. Other common names for UTI are water or bladder infection, and the medical term for a lower UTI is cystitis. UTIs can be really problematic for some women, as they can keep on coming back, which is generally not the case for men. In most cases, men who have UTIs will have something that blocks urination, for example kidney stones. The good news is that this condition can be treated quickly…..a quick consultation and if appropriate antibiotics can be delivered to you from our online clinic.
Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms
What are the most common urinary tract infection symptoms? Most UTIs affect the urethra and bladder. The standout urine infection symptom most people suffer is pain and burning whilst urinating. Other symptoms include:
- Peeing more frequently
- Passing more urine than normal
- Having urine that is different in colour
- Pelvic pain in women
So, if you’re constantly running back and forth to the toilet, and it stings and burn when you pee, you probably have a UTI.
Sometimes, you can have more serious symptoms such as:
- Feeling hot and shivery
- Have blood in your urine
- Vomiting or feeling sick
- Feeling pain in the back or lower stomach
In this case, you need to see a medical professional urgently as it could be signs of a kidney infection.
The good news is that this condition can be treated quickly…..a quick consultation and if appropriate antibiotics can be delivered to you from our online clinic.
Is a Yeast Infection similar to a Urinary Tract Infection?
A yeast infection, or thrush is a different type of infection compared to a UTI. Yeast infections are caused by a fungus called candida, whilst UTIs are caused by bacteria. They can be confused as both can cause pain and burning when urinating. But with yeast infections, you also get itching and discomfort in the affected area. In vaginal thrush, women can also get a cottage cheese like discharge. It is also possible to have both infections at the same time. One way to tell if you have a yeast infection is if a doctor or nurse takes a swab taken from the affected area which is then sent off for testing.
Do I need to see a doctor if I have a Urinary Tract Infection?
If you have never had a UTI, and think you might have one then its better to see your doctor or nurse at your surgery. They can physically examine you and go through your symptoms. They may even ask you for a sample of your urine and perform a dipstick test; this can check if you have bacteria and blood. They can then recommend the best treatment for you. You may not need any medication if your symptoms are mild. However, sometimes if a UTI is left untreated, it can turn into kidney infection.
If you have UTIs that keep coming back (reoccurring), then you may need treatment, as well as managing and preventing the infections with self-care.CLICK HERE FOR UTI TREATMENTS
At Click2Pharmacy, we offer four urinary tract infection treatments. These are in the form of sachets that can help relieve the symptoms of UTI, and antibiotics that can treat the infection.
UTI treatment over the counter
We have two over the counter UTI treatments:
- Cystitis Relief Sachets– these are dissolved into water and taken three times a day for 48 hours. They work by neutralising the acidity of the urine, and can reduce the stinging and burning sensation when urinating.
- Cystopurin Cranberry Sachets- these are another oral medicine that work in the same way as the cystitis relief sachets. Cystopurin relieves the symptoms of pain and stinging when urinating.
Antibiotics for UTI
At Click2Pharmacy, we can prescribe two antibiotics for UTI, Nitrofurantoin 100mg MR capsules and Trimethoprim 200mg tablets. Both of these antibiotics are three-day courses that are designed to fight the bacterial infection.
You can also take painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen to help relieve any pain symptoms and discomfort.
How to prevent Urinary Tract Infection
Women in particular who suffer from reoccurring UTIs find it really affects their quality of life. Although most infections are harmless, they can also give an idea of your general health. Things that increase the risk of UTIs are having sex, pregnancy, having a weak immune system and not drinking enough fluids. Thankfully, there are lots of ways to prevent urinary tract infection:
- Genital hygiene is paramount- wipe from front to back, and dry your genital area after using the toilet
- Use the toilet soon after you have sex, and wash and dry the genital area
- Drink plenty of water and fluids to make sure you use the toilet regularly
- Make sure you pee when you need to, and fully empty your bladder
- Avoid using scented products on your genital area
- Try not to have lots of high sugar foods and drinks- bacteria thrive on sugar and this may encourage the infection
Cranberry products such as cranberry juice and cranberry tablets may help prevent repeated UTIs in women. However, the scientific evidence on how well they work is limited.
Why do I keep getting urinary tract infections?
There can be many reasons why you keep getting urinary tract infections. It could be due to your genetics, so if you mum is prone to getting urine infections, chances are you will get them too. Lifestyle habits can also be a factor, such as cleaning properly when you use the toilet and going for a pee and cleaning after sexual activity. Some people with poor immune systems may also be more at risk of getting urine infections over and over again.
What causes urinary tract infections?
The main cause of urinary tract infections is bacteria from faecal matter (or poo) getting into your urinary tract causing an infection. The transfer of this bacteria sometimes happens from wiping the back passage, or after having sex.
How does a woman get a urinary tract infection?
As women have a shorter urethra than men, it means that bacteria can reach the bladder and kidneys, leading to infection. Also, women’s urethras are also closer to the back passage than which means more risk of bacteria being transferred.
What is the best antibiotic for urinary tract infections?
The best antibiotic for urinary tract infections depends on what is suitable for you based on your medical history. The ones that are recommended in the UK are Nitrofurantoin and Trimethoprim.
Urinary tract infections are usually not serious, and resolve within a few days. There are steps that everyone can take to prevent urine infections, and these will be essential for women who have reoccurring infections. Click2Pharmacy offers antibiotic treatment which you can request online from the convenience of your own home. But if your symptoms are more serious, or you have doubts about whether you do have an infection, then it is best to see a doctor. Check out the NHS website to learn more.