Urinary Tract Infections


Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are very common. They can be painful and uncomfortable, but they usually pass within a few days or can be easily treated with a course of antibiotics. They occur when germs get into the urine. You may notice that you want to pass water more often, with pain or a burning sensation.

What you can do

  • Try drinking plenty of water or squash, at least one cupful per hour.
  • Take potassium nitrate mixture – available from a pharmacy.
  • Take paracetamol if you are in pain.

When to see your GP?

Women should always see their GP the first time they have the symptoms of cystitis. They should also return to their GP if they have the condition more than three times in one year.

Contact the surgery if your symptoms last over 24 hours, or if there is blood in your urine. You may find that your UTI symptoms are mild and pass within a few days. However, if you are finding your symptoms very uncomfortable or if they last for more than five days, go to see your GP. Bring a urine sample in a clean container when you attend.

Also see your GP if you have a UTI and:

  • you develop a high temperature
  • your symptoms suddenly get worse
  • you are pregnant
  • you have diabetes

Testing UTIs

Urinary tract infections usually get better on their own within four or five days.

Antibiotics can help speed up recovery time and are usually recommended for women who keep getting UTIs. In some cases, long-term use of antibiotics help to prevent the infection returning.

More information on UTIs is available here.

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