A urinary tract infection is an infection of your bladder, kidneys or the tubes connected to them.
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection include a sudden need to pee and pain or a burning sensation when peeing.
You can usually treat a urinary tract infection with things like painkillers and drinking plenty of fluids. A GP may prescribe antibiotics.
Urinary tract infections are usually caused by bacteria from poo entering the urinary tract.
Symptoms of a UTI include:
needing to pee suddenly or more often than usual
pain or a burning sensation when peeing
smelly or cloudy pee
blood in your pee
pain in your lower tummy
feeling tired and unwell
in older people, changes in behaviour such as severe confusion or agitation
UTI symptoms may be difficult to spot in people with dementia.
Children with UTIs may also:
appear generally unwell – babies may be irritable, not feed properly and have a high temperature of 37.5C or above
wet the bed or wet themselves
deliberately hold in their pee because it stings
Mild urinary tract infections (UTIs) often pass within a few days. To help ease pain while your symptoms clear up:
take paracetamol – you can give children liquid paracetamol
place a hot water bottle on your tummy, back or between your thighs
rest and drink plenty of fluids – this helps your body to flush out the bacteria
It may also help to avoid having sex until you feel better.
You cannot pass a UTI on to your partner, but sex may be uncomfortable.
Avoid taking NSAIDs like ibuprofen or aspirin if you have a kidney infection. This may increase the risk of kidney problems.
Speak to your doctor before you stop taking any prescribed medication.
Your doctor or nurse may prescribe antibiotics to treat a UTI.
Once you start treatment, the symptoms should start to clear up within 5 days in adults and 2 days in children.
It’s important to finish the whole course of antibiotics, even if you start to feel better.
Some people with a severe UTI may be referred to hospital for treatment and tests. You may need to stay for a few days.
Hospital treatment is more likely for men and children with a UTI.
Treating recurring UTIs:
If your UTI comes back any time after treatment, you’ll usually be prescribed a longer course of antibiotics.
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