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Urinary tract infections and how to avoid them!

Urinary Tract infections are painful, inconvenient and the second largest type of all infections in the UK.  

What are the symptoms?

  • Needing a wee more often
  • Pain or discomfort when having a wee
  • Pain in your lower back, or lower tummy
  • High temperature.

Advice on how to reduce your risk of getting a UTI –and steps to take if you think you have one.

  • Stay hydrated! Good hydration (drinking plenty of fluids) is essential to prevent urinary tract infections
  • Drink regularly throughout the day
  • Have at least eight BIG drinks each day (at least 150ml)  - you can download a handy drinks tracker here. (print and laminate, then use a wipeable marker pen to cross off a tea cup when you have a drink).
  • Avoid too many fizzy, caffeinated or alcoholic drinks (water, tea, milk or fruit juice are all fine).
  • Make sure that older people or people with dementia are reminded to drink regularly as their sense of thirst can diminish.
  • Eat lots of foods such as fruit, salad or jelly, which all contain higher levels of water
  • Use the ‘wee scale’ (see drinks bottle scale); one to three is normal wee, four to 8 you must hydrate!

Personal hygiene

  • Always wash your hands after going to the toilet, before and after preparing food, and before eating food
  • When washing between your legs, always clean from front to back
  • If you have a catheter ensure you regularly clean the tube and the area on your body where the tube goes in (penis or urethra)
  • If you have trouble with incontinence (wetting yourself), use continence products such as pads, and change them regularly
  • Do not use scented wipes or soap when washing between your legs
  • Wear cotton underwear
  • Always go to the toilet after having sex
  • If you develop symptoms such as going for a wee more often, pain or soreness, or wetting yourself, contact your GP straight away – don’t ignore it!