Probiotics are often promoted for urinary tract health. Evidence shows that probiotic supplements containing lactobacillus acidophilus can be beneficial for gastrointestinal health, and they may also reduce the rate of recurrence of UTIs in women prone to these infections.
Cranberry juice or supplements are also often recommended to help prevent UTIs. The berries have been found to contain an active ingredient which can stop bacteria adhering to the urinary tract wall. However, they cannot cure a UTI and most studies show there is not enough of the special ingredient to have a real effect on reducing the occurrence of infections.
Your Pharmacist will be happy to discuss supplements and other preventative measures with you – in private, no appointment needed.
The most common symptom of a UTI is a painful, burning sensation when passing urine.
Signs and symptoms of UTIs
Usually, you’ll experience two or more of the following symptoms:
• Pain, burning or stinging when passing urine
• Needing to urinate often
• Passing only a small amount of urine at a time
• Having the sensation of incomplete emptying after urinating
• Needing to urinate urgently (without much warning)
• Discomfort just above the pubic area
Ensure you speak to your pharmacist or doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
• Fever or a hot and cold feeling
• Vomiting or feeling like you are going to vomit
• Pain on the sides of the lower back (over the kidney area)
• Smelly or cloudy urine
• Blood in the urine
• Unusual vaginal discharge
• Feeling particularly unwell
• Rest and keep warm – place a hot water bottle or wheat bag on your stomach to help with the pain
• Drink as much water as you can to help flush the bacteria out of your urinary tract
• Pass urine in the shower or pour water over the area while you urinate – this may reduce the discomfort
• Take a pain reliever if necessary
Some women are more at risk of getting a UTI than others, for example women who are pregnant, diabetic or post-menopausal. Some people, regardless of age or gender, are more susceptible than others.
To reduce your chance of developing a UTI there are several things you can do.
• Drink plenty of water throughout the day to avoid dehydration
• Take time to empty your bladder as completely as possible each time you pass urine
• Go to the toilet as soon as you feel the need and try not to hold on
• Wash and urinate before and after sexual activity to flush away any bacteria
• Gently wipe front to back after going to the toilet
• Avoid using vaginal deodorants or douches