Urinary Tract Infections 

Urinary Tract Infections 

Our team looks at UTIs: an infection that around half of the women in the UK have experienced* and is known to be painful and uncomfortable. We’ll be looking at your big questions on UTIs: Will my urinary tract infection go away on its own? Where do urinary tract infections come from? When do urinary tract infections go away? 


So what is a urinary tract infection? 

A UTI is an infection in your urinary system - in your bladder, kidneys, ureters or urethra. The infection is caused by bacteria (mostly from poo) getting into the urethra. Women are more at risk of infection because they have a shorter urethra so the bacteria have a shorter distance to travel to get to the bladder or kidneys. 

Around 25%-42% of infections** actually go away within a week and all you need to do is ease the symptoms. However, other infections require an antibiotic prescription. It’s recommended that you go to your health care provider after having a UTI for at least two days if the symptoms haven’t reduced. If you’re taking antibiotics, the symptoms should go away within 3-5 days***. 

If you don’t go to your health care provider, this could lead to the urinary tract infection moving to your kidneys which could lead to serious health problems. 


How do you know if you have a UTI? 

The main symptoms of a bladder infection/ UTI in women are a painful sensation when you urinate, feeling the urge to urinate more often and more urgently (especially during the night), pain in your lower stomach and back and urine that looks darker and may have a strong smell (you may even notice blood). Get urgent help if you have a very high or low temperature. 

Urinary tract infection or STD? There can often be confusion between UTIs and sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhoea or chlamydia because they both present problems with urination. The safest solution is to go to your health provider and explain your symptoms. They will be able to give you an STD screening to determine if you have contracted an STD. 


How to reduce your risk of bacteria entering your urethra? 

Unfortunately, as we’ve established if you’re a woman, you’re naturally more at risk than a man due to your shorter urethra. However, other things that can increase your risk are having sex, pregnancy, having a weak immune system, not drinking enough water and having poor hygiene practices (genital needs to be clean and dry).**** 

Furthermore, if you enjoy anal play/ sex, make sure your partner does not pass bacteria from your rectum to your vagina. Make sure to clean all toys/ fingers/ genitals that have come into contact with the rectum before using them vaginally. 

The honeymoon phase could increase your risk of a UTI. The more sex you’re having, the more at risk you are of bacteria entering your urethra. What can help prevent a UTI during the honeymoon phase (or whenever you’re having sex) is urinating immediately after sex, washing your vagina before and after sex, drinking plenty of water and keeping your vagina dry. 

General UTI prevention tips are wiping front to back, not using fragranced/ scented cleaning products, don’t wear tight clothing and don’t use condoms that use spermicide. Try our MyBliss condoms that are spermicide-free, fragrance-free and use silicone oil that is safe for vaginas. 


“Help I already have a UTI.” 

If you already have a UTI, we advise going to your healthcare provider ASAP. To help reduce your symptoms: drink lots of water, take painkillers, use a hot water bottle, rest and avoid sex. Also, discuss with your doctor if they’d suggest taking D-mannose for UTIs or cranberry products. There is some research that these products may help, but we’d advise asking your doctor first. 

Let us know your experiences with urinary tract infections below and what you’ve found to be the best practices to prevent your risk. 





** https://www.healthline.com/health/womens-wellness-uti-antibiotics

*** https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/kidneys-bladder-and-prostate/urinary-tract-infection-uti

**** https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/urinary-tract-infections-utis/

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