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UTI (Urinary Tract Infection)- Pharmacy First (NHS)


UTI (Urinary Tract Infection)- Pharmacy First (NHS)


Urinary tract infection (UTI)

If you are female and aged between 16-65 years old and think you may have a UTI, you no longer need to get in touch with your GP. You are now able to contact us at Star Pharmacy, where we will assess you and provide the necessary treatment. We are now able to recommend UTI treatments, over-the-counter, as well as prescription-only medication to help relieve your symptoms. 

If you are male, pregnant, have blood in your urine or have a child displaying the symptoms of UTI, you should visit your GP as soon as possible.

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What is a UTI?

UTI is a common infection mostly caused by bacteria in any part of the urinary tract, including the bladder (cystitis), urethra (urethritis), or kidneys (kidney infection).

Women have higher chances of developing a UTI as they have a shorter urethra than men, so bacteria are more likely to reach the bladder or kidneys and cause infection.

Symptoms of UTIs include:

UTIs can have a wide variety of symptoms which can range from mild to severe. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Pain or a burning sensation when peeing (dysuria)
  • Needing to pee more often than usual
  • Needing to pee more often than usual during the night (nocturia)
  • Needing to pee suddenly or more urgently than usual
  • Pee that looks cloudy
  • Blood in your pee
  • Lower tummy pain or pain in your back, just under the ribs
  • A high temperature, or feeling hot and shivery
  • A very low temperature below 36C

If you have the more severe symptoms indicative of a kidney infection, such as a high or very low temperature, pain in your sides or back, confusion or agitation or you are feeling or being sick, you should seek help from your GP or urgent care without delay. If left untreated, 

Causes of urinary tract infections (UTIs)

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are usually caused by bacteria from poo entering the urinary tract.

The bacteria enter through the tube that carries pee out of the body (urethra).

Women have a shorter urethra than men. This means bacteria are more likely to reach the bladder or kidneys and cause an infection.

Things that increase the risk of bacteria getting into the bladder include:

  • having sex
  • pregnancy
  • conditions that block the urinary tract – such as kidney stones
  • conditions that make it difficult to fully empty the bladder – such as an  enlarged prostate in men and constipation in children
  • urinary catheters (a tube in your bladder used to drain urine)
  • having a weakened immune system – for example, people with diabetes or people having chemotherapy
  • not drinking enough fluids
  • not keeping the genital area clean and dry

How to prevent UTIs

There are a few things you can do to prevent a UTI from developing and prevent the infection from returning.

  • Wipe from front to back when going to the toilet
  • Keep your genitals clean and dry
  • Drink lots of fluids, especially water
  • Clean the skin around the vagina with water before and after sex
  • Go to the toilet after sex
  • Always change nappies or incontinence pads if they are soiled
  • Avoid using scented soap
  • Avoid holding your urine in – go when you have the urge
  • Do not wear tight underwear made from synthetic materials, such as nylon
  • Do not drink large volumes of alcohol
  • Do not have large amounts of sugary food or drinks

How to treat a UTI

You may be able to relieve the discomfort of a UTI by taking over-the-counter painkillers, like paracetamol, and making sure you drink plenty of water.

However, a UTI is usually treated with a short course of antibiotics. The majority of women with a UTI will be given a three-day course of antibiotic tablets, and you can expect your symptoms to pass within three to five days of starting the treatment.

The good news is, that you do not necessarily need to book an appointment with your GP to access this type of medication. As part of the NHS Pharmacy First Service, Star Pharmacy is now able to provide both prescription-strength and over-the-counter medication for UTIs. This means that you’re able to get the treatment you need more quickly so that you’re able to feel better sooner.

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UTI (Urinary Tract Infection)- Pharmacy First (NHS)

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