Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) / Cystitis
Bacteria that get into your urethra (a tube through which urine is passed) or bladder causes urinary tract infections. The bacteria typically arising in your bowels can cause infections in various parts of the urinary tract.
Kidney infection (Pyelonephritis): This is commonly due to an infection and needs quick medical attention. With this condition, you may feel quite ill (fever, pain in your flanks, vomiting, and sometimes blood in the urine).
Bladder infection (cystitis): This is usually due to an infection (which usually necessitates antibiotics) or due to inflammation. In women, it is a common type of urinary tract infection (UTI).
Infection of the Urethra (urethritis): You may have symptoms of cystitis as described above. This is likely due to an inflammation compared to an infection.
If you have repeated bouts of cystitis or urinary tract infections, make an appointment with your doctor for further evaluation. This would involve testing a urine sample for specific bacteria and possibly including a sexual health screening. (Some sexually transmitted infections can resemble urinary infections symptoms).
The following are the most common symptoms of cystitis:
- When passing urine, you may experience pain, burning, or stinging sensations.
- Increased urination at night
- Urinating more frequently than usually
- Feeling that urine needs to be passed right away (urgency)
- Urine that is cloudy, darker in colour or/and has a strong odor
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Urine containing blood*
- Having a fever and other urinary symptoms*
*If you are feeling quite ill, have fever, or are passing blood in urine, this service is NOT for you; instead, a video consultation or a visit to your GP is required.
Women are more likely than men to develop cystitis because the female urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder) is much shorter than the male urethra. The female urethra also sits closer to the back passage. Bacteria will be able to enter the bladder more easily as a result of this. The most common cause of cystitis is E.Coli, a bacteria found in the bowel.
Some factors that can increase chances of developing cystitis:
- Having sexual relations
- After using the restroom, wiping from back to front rather than front to back.
- Being over the age of 65 (10 percent of women over this age report having a UTI in the last 12 months)
- Hormonal disorders such as Cushing's syndrome or thyroid issues
- Contraception methods using a diaphragm, spermicide, and condoms
- Immune deficiency
Mild cystitis often resolves without treatment (it can take up to 5 days), and antibiotics are not always required.
It may be beneficial to do the following:
- If you have stomach pain, take paracetamol or ibuprofen.
- Take sachets of cystopurin (available over the counter in your pharmacy)
- Drink plenty of water, at least 2.5 litres.
- Place a warm water bottle on your stomach or between your thighs.
- Avoid having sex until your infection has completely cleared.
- When using the restroom, wipe from front to back.
- Wash your genitals gently with a skin-sensitive soap or soap substitute.
Many women find that cranberry products help with their symptoms. There is no medical evidence to support their use, but it's worth a shot!
If your symptoms persist for more than 48 hours despite these methods, antibiotic treatment may be considered.
This service allows you to request a treatment from our doctors. You will be asked a series of questions related to the treatment, after which you will be asked to pay a fee of €20. To proceed, select the required dosage and click on "Start Consultation".
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