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How do you get a UTI?

Andrew Bellingham

Andrew Bellingham

Pharmacist | 20+ Years | BPharm | Dip Clin Pharm

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common bacterial infections that affect the urinary tract, which includes the bladder, kidneys, urethra, and ureters. While UTIs are more common in women, they can also affect men.

In women, the shorter urethra makes it easier for bacteria to reach the bladder, making UTIs more likely. On the other hand, men usually have a longer urethra, which helps protect against UTIs. But factors like age, health issues, and lifestyle can still raise the risk of UTIs in men.

Symptoms of UTIs in both genders include a frequent urge to urinate, a burning sensation during urination, cloudy or strong-smelling urine, and pelvic discomfort. Men may also experience additional symptoms such as rectal pain and lower abdominal discomfort.

If you think you might have a UTI, don’t wait to see your doctor. Book an online consultation with a pharmacist to get the care and treatment you need.

What causes a UTI in a woman?

When it comes to UTIs, there are several common factors that can increase the risk for women:

  • Wiping from back to front after a wee 
  • Having sex frequently
  • Fluctuations in hormones (particularly during pregnancy and menopause)
  • Use of spermicidal contraceptives or diaphragms

What causes UTI in men?

While UTIs are more commonly associated with women, men can also experience them, albeit less frequently.

Here are some common causes of UTIs in men:

  • Having sex anal
  • Unprotected intercourse or the use of unclean sex toys
  • Kidney stones or an enlarged prostate
  • Temporary or long term catheters

For more information, you can read our blog on the causes of UTIs.

Frequently asked questions about UTIs

What is an urinary tract?

The urinary tract is the system that produces, stores, and removes urine from the body. It includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra.

How do you get urinary tract infection?

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract through the urethra. This is often caused by poor hygiene, or sexual activity.

How did I get a UTI?

Potential causes of your UTI depend largely on your gender, but include factors like poor hygiene, sexual activity, catheter use, or conditions that impair the urinary system’s natural defences.

A lady holds her stomach in pain due to UTI pain brought on by a common cause

Does it hurt when you pee?

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What is Pharmacy First?

Pharmacy First is a new NHS-funded scheme that helps you quickly get the advice & treatment you need from a pharmacy, without needing to see a GP.

The conditions covered by Pharmacy First are:

Video consultations & advice are free of charge. If you pay for prescriptions you will be charged the prescription rate of £9.65 per prescription item.