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Urinary tract infection (UTI)
This is one of the most common causes of bladder control problems and occurs when bacteria enter the bladder. Urinary tract infection is more common in women, due to the close proximity of the urethra (opening from the bladder) to the anus (back passage) and the fact that women have a shorter urethra than men. Common symptoms of a UTI include:
when passing urine. However, you may experience only some, not all, of these symptoms.
Why it's so important to treat your UTI
If treated with the right antibiotics, UTIs normally cause no further bladder problems and the infection soon passes. However, if left untreated, UTIs can cause serious complications, such as kidney damage and blood poisoning.
Reduce your chances of getting a UTI in the first place
There are lots of home remedies to help lessen your chances of getting a urinary tract infection (UTI).
- Adults should drink between 3 and 4 pints of fluid a day, as long as your medication does not dictate otherwise
- Do not hold urine in the bladder for too long
- Empty the bladder following sexual intercourse
- Avoid constipation, as this can prevent the bladder from emptying properly, which in turn can cause UTI
- Good hygiene – wash your genitals at least once a day using unperfumed soap or wet wipes and don't use talcum powder
- Women should wipe 'front to back' after using the toilet and use wet wipes if available
- When using an intermittent (ISC) or indwelling urinary catheter, follow good infection prevention measures, as advised by your healthcare professional