Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Urinary tract infections (UTI) are infections that cause inflammation anywhere in the urinary tract: urethra, bladder, kidneys and prostate. Cystitis is an infection specifically in the bladder.

Transmission

Often caused by bacteria known as E. Coli which is normally present in the bowel and may get moved into the urinary system by:

  • Wiping from the back to the front of the genitals after going to the toilet
  • Having anal sex then vaginal sex (without changing condoms)

Excessive friction or roughness during vaginal penetration can increase the risk of UTI.

Signs and symptoms

  • Increase in urge to pass urine
  • Frequent passing of urine
  • Burning sensation when urinating
  • Strong smelling urine, cloudy or red in appearance
  • Lower back pain
  • Fever and chills

Treatment

Urine alkalinisers from the pharmacy are effective in managing symptoms. Drinking water lots of water will dilute urine and help flush the bacteria out of the bladder. If the symptoms continue after 48 hours, visit the doctor and get antibiotics prescribed.

Prevention

There are many strategies for reducing risk of urinary tract infections, including:

  • Drinking plenty of water (1.5-2 liters/day)
  • Limiting alcohol and drinks high in caffeine (they may cause dehydration)
  • Passing urine following vaginal and anal sex, to flush the urethra
  • Wiping genitals from front to back after going to the toilet
  • Urinating frequently and ensuring the bladder is empty
  • Changing condoms between anal and vaginal sex