Women's Health and Equality Queensland


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Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are very common – particularly in women, babies and older people. UTIs are caused by bacteria and micro-organisms that infect your urinary tract. Common symptoms of UTIs include wanting to urinate more often and urgently, a burning pain when urinating, a feeling that the bladder is still full after urinating, pain above the pubic bone, and cloudy, bloody or very smelly urine. If infection reaches the kidneys, prompt medical attention is needed. 

UTIs usually respond well to simple treatment. Urinary alkalisers can be used to relieve the pain and frequency of urination. You can make your own by dissolving one level teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water, and then drink the water, or buy a commercial alkaliser from a chemist, such as Ural. Drinking more water to flush the urinary system can help in mild cases. Some women also report that cranberry juice works for them. Antibiotics can be prescribed by your doctor to fight the infection. It is recommended to take probiotics at the same time as antibiotics to avoid getting thrush. 

If a UTI is left untreated, the infection may spread to your kidneys and can cause lower back pain and further complications. See your doctor as soon as possible because the earlier you start treatment, the better. 

Some of the ways to prevent your risk of developing a UTI include drinking more fluids to help flush out bacteria, urinating as soon as you feel the need, urinating immediately after sexual intercourse, wiping from front to back after using the toilet, and wearing cotton underwear and loose-fitting pants. If infections are an ongoing problem, you may need to be referred to a urologist (a doctor specialising in urinary problems) for further treatment. 

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