Urinary Tract Infections

Patient Information: Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Preventing future episodes

  • Drink plenty of water every day (at least six to eight glasses).
  • Go to the toilet when you need to – do not hold on.
  • Avoid nylon underwear and feminine hygiene sprays.
  • Avoid the use of tampons if possible.
  • Use plain water for washing – an always wipe from ‘front to back’
  • Avoid bubble baths, talcum powder, all personal (vaginal) deodorants & feminine wipes
  • A bath every day is not necessary and may, in fact, be harmful
  • A shallow bath is better than a deep one and a shower is better still.

If you are prone to getting UTIs after sex:

  • Cleanse the genital area with water before intercourse (but do not douche).
  • Pass urine as soon as possible  afterwards
  • If you are a female using a diaphragm or spermicidal creams, you may wish to choose a different form of contraception, as these can increase the risk of UTIs.
  • Use enough lubrication (eg KY jelly) during sex, if you are prone to dryness.

If symptoms do return

As soon as you feel the first twinges of an infection, start drinking a lot of water or another bland liquid such as milk or weak tea. Avoid strong coffee, tea or alcohol. For the first 3 hours, drink at least half a pint every 20 minutes to flush out the infection before it gets a grip.

Further information is available at www.patient.co.uk and search for UTI

If you are female and aged 16 to 65 a pharmacist can often assess and treat your UTI without needing a GP