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Expert insight into UTIs


Ian Pearce

Consultant Urological Surgeon, Manchester Royal Infirmary

Consultant Urological Surgeon, Ian Pearce, answers six frequently asked questions about urinary tract infections (UTIs).

1. What is a urinary tract infection, (UTI)

A UTI is a bacterial infection of the urinary tract, most commonly the bladder but occasionally the kidneys (also known as, pyelonephritis).

2. How common is UTI?

UTIs are common; over 50 per cent of women are likely to suffer at least one UTI during their life. Men may also suffer but less commonly.

3. What causes a UTI?

The most common cause of UTI is dehydration. Other risk factors are increasing age, being sexually active, diabetes and passing urine infrequently.

4. How will I know if I have a UTI?

Most UTIs present with symptoms of urinary frequency, urgency and painful urination. In severe cases, patients may pass blood or develop a temperature, loin pain or shivering attacks, (known as rigors).

5. How can UTIs be treated?

UTIs are treated with pain relief and antibiotics for between three and five days and in more severe cases 7 to 14 days. It is best to increase fluid intake.

6. Can UTIs be avoided?

The risk of a UTI can be reduced by increasing fluid intake, showering rather than bathing, wiping front to back and passing urine before and after sex.


Source: Ian Pearce

Consultant Urological Surgeon, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Honorary Treasurer of the British Association of Urological Surgeons

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