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A urinary tract infection (UTI) can be very uncomfortable, and should be treated as soon as possible so it doesn’t develop into a more serious infection.
A UTI occurs when bacteria (usually from the bowel) enters the urinary tract via the urethra (the tube that goes from the bladder to the outside). The bacteria can cause infection in the urethra, the bladder or the kidneys. The most common symptom of a UTI is a painful, burning sensation when passing urine.
Signs and symptoms of UTI
Usually you’ll experience two or more of the following symptoms:
Ensure you speak to your Unichem Pharmacist or doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
Treatment for UTIs
If you have symptoms of a urinary tract infection, do not delay getting checked and starting a suitable treatment. If a UTI isn’t treated correctly the infection can spread to the kidneys and become more serious.
If you meet certain criteria, your Unichem Pharmacist can give you an antibiotic called Trimethoprim, without a prescription. They’ll ask you a few questions to see if Trimethoprim is appropriate for you or recommend that you visit your doctor.
Urinary alkalisers can provide relief from the painful burning symptoms of a UTI. Check with your Unichem Pharmacist before using any product as it may interact with other medicines you are taking.
Rest and keep warm – place a hot water bottle or wheat bag on your stomach to help with the pain
Some women are more at risk of getting a UTI than others, for example women who are pregnant, diabetic or post-menopausal. Some people, regardless of age or gender, are more susceptible than others.
To reduce your chance of developing a UTI there are several things you can do.
Probiotics are often promoted for urinary tract health. Evidence shows that probiotic supplements containing lactobacillus acidophilus can be beneficial for gastrointestinal health, and they may also reduce the rate of recurrence of UTIs in women prone to these infections.
Cranberry juice or supplements are also often recommended to help prevent UTIs. The berries have been found to contain an active ingredient which can stop bacteria adhering to the urinary tract wall. However, they cannot cure a UTI and most studies show there is not enough of the special ingredient to have a real effect on reducing the occurrence of infections.
You can find supplements to prevent and support UTI’s in our Women’s Health category.
Your Life Pharmacist will be happy to discuss supplements and other preventative measures with you – in private, no appointment needed. Simply head into your nearest Life Pharmacy to speak to a Pharmacist confidentially about how they can help you.