12 Dec

Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

Urinary tract infections (UTI) or cystitis is very common and is usually caused by gut bacteria entering your lower urinary tract and bladder. It can occur in people of all ages, however women are 14 times more likely to be affected then men. This is because of the close proximity of the urethra to the anus in women, and that bacteria can move into the urinary tract more easily.


UTI symptoms are; stinging and burning when passing urine, frequent urination, a constant urge to urinate, cloudy or smelly urine, and discomfort and pain in the abdomen or pelvic area. In the elderly, confusion can also occur.

Note that increased or changed vaginal discharge is not part of a UTI and needs separate medical attention.

Fever, chills, pain in the back above and around the hips, nausea and vomiting can be signs of a more serious infection. This is when bacteria have moved from the bladder towards the kidneys. These symptoms require urgent medical attention.

Reduce your risk

Take these simple steps to reduce the risk of getting a UTI:

  • Drink plenty of water a day, enough to maintain a pale, straw coloured urine
  • Avoid using powders, douches and sprays near the genital area
  • Urinate soon after intercourse
  • Wipe from front to back after using the toilet

Treating UTIs

UTIs are usually treated with antibiotics, with symptom relief occurring within 1-2 days of the first dose being taken. It is important to make sure you complete your full course of antibiotics as prescribed.

Preventing recurrent UTIs

You can take preventative medicine to maintain urinary tract health and provide protection against recurrent UTIs.

A large recent review to assess the effectiveness of cranberry products in preventing UTIs showed that cranberry products do not significantly reduce the occurrence of UTIs and that cranberry juice cannot currently be recommended for the prevention of UTIs.

The continual use of antibiotics for the prevention of recurrent UTIs is effective but may lead to antibiotic resistance, so it can be useful to look at alternative prevention strategies.

Hiprex®  is a urinary antibacterial agent that has been prescribed for almost 100 years, and unlike antibiotics, resistance does not appear to develop with continuous use. Hiprex works best when taken with vitamin C so make sure you take Hiprex and vitamin C together. Do not take Hiprex with urinary alkalinises like Ural, as they will stop Hiprex from working properly. Hiprex is a prescription medicine and now fully funded if you suffer from recurrent UTIs.

Get your medicines from ZOOM

If you suffer from recurrent UTIs, talk to your doctor about what preventative prescription medicines might be right for you.

ZOOM Pharmacy makes managing your meds really easy. Prescription meds are delivered direct to your door, repeats organised for you, no more queuing at pharmacy. Call 0508966622 Monday to Friday 7AM-6PM to speak to a ZOOM Pharmacist and find out more about our great FREE medicines sachet pack service for patients on four meds or more!