1. What is the ‘urinary tract’?
The urinary tract (also known as the urinary system) consists of the kidneys, bladder, ureters and urethra. It is responsible for removing extra fluids and waste from the body in the form of urine. The urinary system is designed so that urine flows one way and is normally prevented from flowing back up into the kidneys.
2. What causes urinary tract infections (UTIs)?
UTIs occur when micro-organisms (typically bacteria) enter and travel up the urinary tract and multiply, causing an infection. The infection can affect any part of the urinary tract, most commonly the bladder.
3. Why are UTIs more common in women than men?
For the urinary tract to become infected, bacteria need be able to reach and then travel through the urethra. Compared to men, the urethra in women is short (only about 4 cm long), which makes it easier for bacteria to travel along it and up into the bladder causing an infection.
For some women UTIs are also linked to the normal changing hormone levels that occur throughout their lives.
4. How do I know if I have a UTI?
Some of the symptoms of a UTI include;
- A burning pain or sensation when urinating
- Wanting to urinate more frequently than normal
- Feeling like your bladder is still full after passing urine
- Pain in your lower abdomen above the pubic bone
- Cloudy, bloody or smelly urine.
However, while these are symptoms of a UTI, the best way to be sure is to seek a diagnosis from a healthcare professional.
5. What should I do if I think I have a UTI?
If you think you have a UTI, it is important that you talk first to a healthcare professional.
6. How are urinary tract infections diagnosed?
In order to diagnose a UTI, your doctor will ask about your symptoms. They may conduct a physical examination and take a urine sample to see which bacteria are present.
If you think you may have a UTI, it is important to consult a doctor. The doctor will advise on the most appropriate treatment.
7. Is there anything else I can do if I have a UTI?
If you think you may have a UTI, it is important to consult a healthcare professional.
Drinking lots of water can help flush bacteria out of your urinary system, while taking a urinary alkaliniser (such as URAL Effervescent Powder) can relieve the burning pain of UTIs.
Uramet can only be used to help prevent recurrent UTIs once the initial infection has been treated — it should not be taken when you are also taking a urinary alkalising agent (such as URAL Effervescent Powder), as this may affect how well Uramet works.