Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common health conditions that disproportionately affect women due to anatomical differences. These infections can involve various parts of the urinary system, including the bladder (cystitis), urethra, and kidneys.

Uncomplicated UTIs are infections that occur in individuals with a normal urinary tract and no underlying health conditions. They are typically caused by bacteria, such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), which enter the urinary tract from the bowel. Women are more susceptible to UTIs due to their shorter urethra, which allows bacteria easier access to the bladder.

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    • Symptoms of UTIs

      Common symptoms of UTIs include:

      • A strong, persistent urge to urinate
      • A burning sensation when urinating
      • Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
      • Cloudy or strong-smelling urine
      • Discomfort or pressure in the lower abdomen
      • In some cases, blood in the urine
    • Effective Treatment Options

      Treatment for uncomplicated UTIs typically involves:

      Antibiotics: Nitrofurantoin (Macrobid) and other antibiotics are commonly prescribed to eliminate the bacteria causing the infection.
      Pain Relief: Over-the-counter medications like phenazopyridine can help alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with UTIs.
      Hydration: Drinking plenty of water helps flush bacteria from the urinary tract.

    • Preventative Measures

      To reduce the risk of UTIs:

      • Practise good personal hygiene, including wiping from front to back after using the toilet.
      • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
      • Urinate when you feel the need; don’t hold it in.
      • Avoid using irritating feminine products in the genital area.
      • Consider cranberry products, such as cranberry juice or supplements, which may help prevent UTIs.
    • When to Seek Medical Attention

      If you experience severe symptoms, such as high fever, back pain, or if your symptoms do not improve within a few days of starting treatment, it’s important to seek medical attention. Additionally, if you have recurrent UTIs, a healthcare professional may recommend further investigation and treatment.

    • Accessing Treatment through the Pharmacy First Service

      The Pharmacy First service allows you to receive professional advice and treatment for uncomplicated UTIs without needing a GP appointment. Our pharmacists can assess your symptoms, recommend suitable antibiotics, and provide guidance on managing the condition effectively.