Ouch - I have a UTI

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Going to the bathroom for a ‘number one’ is generally, majority of the time, a normal relieving feeling. However, for one in two women and one in 20 men, once in their lifetime they will have an uncomfortable and painful ‘number one’ experience.

Because instead of relief when you enter the bathroom, you feel as though you are peeing tiny needles. And that is not an exaggeration. And then to make matters worse, you have this constant unrelenting need to ‘go number one’ every 30 minutes or less.

Panic sets in. Because you now notice there is a cloudy color, almost looks like blood in the toilet bowl. You start to wonder, could you physically be peeing tiny needles?

You jump straight into your car and head to your local emergency department. After a quick toilet stop, you approach the reception at emergency to find out there is a three hour wait.

You see, for the average person, these symptoms are not life threatening (although they certainly feel that way).

This is what is called the common Urinary Tract Infection, or UTI for short.

What is an UTI?

A UTI is caused when bacteria enters the urinary tract. It can affect men and women at any age. It is more common in women, babies and older people.

UTI’s can affect all parts of the urinary tract from the bladder to the kidneys. If left untreated, they can be quite serious and lead to further complications.

What are the symptoms?

  • Feeling the urge to pee more often and urgently while only passing a few drops
  • Burning pain when peeing
  • Pain above the pubic bone
  • Cloudy, bloody or odorous urine

If a UTI has spread to your kidneys you will experience more severe symptoms:

  • Back pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Fever

What to do if you have an UTI?

If you are experiencing any of the above listed symptoms, then it is important you speak with a medical professional. If possible, make an appointment with your GP for correct diagnosis and treatment. And drink plenty of fluids. Remember, left untreated UTI’s can lead to serious complications.

However sometimes UTI symptoms can occur outside of business hours. Before deciding to head to your local emergency department, you can call 13 Health (13 43 25 84) to speak with a registered nurse about your symptoms.

This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The nurse will advise whether you should seek treatment at a pharmacy, visit your GP or present to your nearest emergency department.

How do I prevent an UTI?

Once you have experienced a UTI, you will never want one again.

Here are your best defenses against preventing another UTI:

  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water to flush the urinary system
  • Treat vaginal infections such as thrush quickly
  • Avoid wearing tight fitting clothes and nylon or synthetic underwear. These items can trap moisture and help bacteria grow.
  • Go to the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge
  • For women, wipe yourself from front to back after using the bathroom
  • Empty your bladder after intercourse
  • Unlubricated condoms can increase irritation which may help bacteria grow. Consider switching to lubricated condoms without spermicide or using a non-spermicidal lubricant.
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Avoid using feminine products that will irritate the urethra.

Remember, you can call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) to speak with a registered nurse about your symptoms!