Urinary Tract Infections
Being a woman sometimes feels like a bit of a challenge. What with underwire bras, cramps, PMT and bikini waxes, one could truly feel it is a hardship! To top it off, women are 8 times more likely to develop a Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) than men. It’s all to do with plumbing… and why your mother taught you to wipe from front to back after using the bathroom. We are more susceptible to these infections because bugs from our “number 2’s” are in the same neighbourhood as entry to our urinary tract, and therefore easier for those bacteria to get in and cause trouble.
UTIs occur when bacteria infect your bladder and urinary tract and cause swelling and irritation of the lining. You might suspect a UTI if you have some of these symptoms: burning or stinging when passing urine, need to pass urine more often, passing only small amounts of urine at a time, fever, feeling unwell, chills, vomiting, blood in the urine, discoloured, smelly or cloudy urine, pain in the lower stomach or lower back.
Mild UTIs may go away without medical treatment. But the great news is that now an accredited pharmacist can supply you an antibiotic for treatment of a UTI, without a prescription, should you meet certain criteria. It’s always a good idea to check in with your pharmacist anyway as some of the symptoms can indicate a more serious condition.
There are other things you can do to help yourself as well. Drink 2 to 3 glasses of water as soon as you feel the symptoms. Keep drinking as much water as you can (about 8 glasses in 24 hours). This can help flush bacteria out of your urinary tract. Avoid alcohol, fruit juices, strong coffee, tea or fizzy drinks as they tend to irritate the bladder and aggravate your symptoms. Use a hot water bottle on your stomach and/or take a pain reliever to help with any pain. You can drink urinary alkalinisers (available at your pharmacy). These make your urine less acid and help to reduce burning when passing urine.
Have you ever heard of drinking cranberry juice for a UTI? Studies show that it may actually work, as a preventative rather than a cure though, by preventing the bacteria from attaching to your bladder.
So while life sends us women these little challenges, it all just makes us stronger, right?
Did you know.... our trained Pharmacists are able to offer antibiotic treatment for UTIs where appropriate without the need for a prescription. Your Pharmacists will work through a thorough checklist with you to ensure the medicine is right for you. The treatment, a three-day course of antibiotics, is available to women between the ages of 16 and 65 who are not pregnant. They may also suggest some other options for you to consider.