Understanding and Treating UTIs – Your Guide

UTI Treatment - Pharmacy First- Epsom & Ewell

Need help with a UTI? Our Pharmacists in Epsom and Ewell are here to help, book your appointment online.

UTI’s are a very common and treatable condition that effects both men and women across the UK. But don’t worry, Ricky’s Pharmacy is here to help you get the right advice and treatment to help you feel better quickly through the Pharmacy First scheme.

How will I know I have a UTI?

There are some common and well known symptoms associated with a UTI. You may have a number of symptoms from the list below, if you’re unsure about if you have a UTI or not speak to our pharmacists who can help you and direct you to a GP if needed.

UTI symptoms to watch out for:

UTIs can be quite uncomfortable, and their symptoms can often prompt a visit to the pharmacy or Pharmacy. Common symptoms include:

  • A strong, persistent urge to urinate
  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
  • Cloudy or strong-smelling urine
  • Pelvic pain, especially in women
  • Blood in the urine, which can be a sign of more severe infection and you should get an urgent GP appointment or call 111.

What Can Cause a UTI?

A UTI infection is usually caused by bacteria, most commonly Escherichia coli (E. coli), which lives in the bowel and can sometimes spread to the urinary tract. There are a few things that make it more likely that bacteria will travel into the tract and cause the infection.

Personal hygiene practices, such as not wiping from front to back after using the toilet, can spread bacteria into the urethra and cause symptoms. It’s this cause in particular that makes UTI’s so much more common for women given the location or the urethra.

Sexual intercourse can also introduce bacteria into the urinary tract, it’s why it’s advisable to urinate after intercourse to reduce the changes of catching a UTI.

There are also medical conditions that make it more likely you’ll get a UTI. Conditions like kidney stones or an enlarged prostate can block the flow of urine and lead to infection. Those with diabetes can also be more likely to get them due to higher blood sugar levels which can encourage the bacteria that causes UTI’s to grow.

Pharmacy First - UTI
Book a Pharmacy First appointment for UTI Treatment without needing to visit a GP

UTI vs. Cystitis

Cystitis is a type of UTI, specifically and limited to an inflammation of the bladder. While all cystitis is a UTI, not all UTIs are cystitis. Symptoms of cystitis are similar to those of other UTIs but may also include lower abdominal discomfort and a feeling of pressure in the pelvis.

What to do if you think you have a UTI

The good news is that you don’t always need to see a doctor for a UTI treatment. At Ricky’s Pharmacy in Epsom and Ewell we are able to offer convenient and effective treatments for UTI’s through the Pharmacy First scheme.

To help manage the pain and discomfort we can offer pain relievers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen alongside powder sachets that help to reduce the burning sensation when urinating with a UTI. These sachets are particularly helpful for patients with cystitis, all you need to do is mix the powder with water to create a drink.

If your symptoms are severe or persistent, a we are able to prescribe antibiotics through Pharmacy First without you needing to see your GP first.

There are some other things you can do as part of the self-care to manage and treat really mild UTIs such as drinking plenty of water, resting and some people find relief from taking cranberry products.

When to visit your GP or A&E

While many UTIs can be effectively managed with pharmacy treatments, there are times when you should see a doctor or visit A&E.

See a GP if:

  • you have symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI) for the first time
  • your child has symptoms of a UTI
  • you’re a man with symptoms of a UTI
  • you’re pregnant and have symptoms of a UTI
  • you’re caring for an older, frail person who may have symptoms of a UTI
  • you have symptoms of a UTI after surgery
  • your symptoms get worse or do not improve within 2 days
  • your symptoms come back after treatment

Ask for an urgent GP appointment or get help from NHS 111 if you think you, your child or someone you care for may have a urinary tract infection (UTI) and:

  • have a very high temperature, or feel hot and shivery
  • have a very low temperature below 36C
    are confused or drowsy
  • have pain in the lower tummy or in the back, just under the ribs
    can see blood in your pee

If you’re concerned and cannot get in touch with your GP we can help talk through your symptoms and direct you to the relevant care provider for your symptoms.

Dealing with a UTI is never fun, but at Ricky’s Pharmacy we can provide quick and effective treatments to help you feel better.

We’re always here to help you with advice and care, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any concerns or questions.

You can visit us to in store to talk to our pharmacist about a UTI, our pharmacy is conveniently located between Epsom and Ewell, if you prefer you can book an appointment online to speak to our pharmacists at a time to suit you.

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Colin Friston
14 April 2023
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11 April 2023
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