Think you're experiencing a Urinary Tract Infection?
At Chemist King we can provide immediate treatment, advice and product recommendations to assist with and provide relief of urinary tract infections, including antibiotics where appropriate.
Our team of friendly pharmacists are on hand to discuss any concerns, provide expert advice and recommend products that may be right for you.
AVAILABLE FROM 1st MARCH 2024. $20 Consult fee applies. Walk ins only.
I have symptoms of UTI – how can my Pharmacist help?
Women in SA can now get immediate advice and treatment for uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTI) from their Chemist King Pharmacist. This includes antibiotics where appropriate. In a climate where same-day doctor's appointments can be difficult to book, this is an important advance for women's health.
If you're experiencing UTI symptoms, ask your Chemist King Pharmacist for a private consultation.
What will happen at my consultation?
Your Pharmacist will ask you a series of questions to confirm diagnosis and indicate a treatment plan
Antibiotics can be prescribed if necessary for your diagnosis
Your Pharmacist can also provide more information on UTIs, explain the role of medications and recommend other treatment options if necessary
When should I see a GP?
There are instances where you will need to see a GP:
For male UTIs (infections of the male urinary tract are considered complicated due to the longer length of the urethra)
For chronic UTIs
If your Pharmacist identifies a significant issue during your consultation
If you’ve ever experienced a UTI, you’ll know the tell-tale signs - an intense and constant urge or pressure to urinate followed by a burning pain when you do. It’s one of the most common infections in humans, affecting around 1 in 2 women and 1 in 20 men during their lifetime*^. Urinary Tract Infections (commonly referred to as UTIs) can happen anywhere in the urinary tract# and are very common in women, babies and the elderly. UTIs occur when microbes (microscopic bacteria) or germs enter the urinary tract or bladder and multiply, causing a number of painful symptoms. If left untreated, the infection can spread to your kidneys and other parts of your body, so it’s important to know the signs to look out for and seek treatment immediately.
What are the different types of UTIs?
Because UTI is a broad term relating to an infection of anywhere in the urinary tract (including in the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra)#, there are different types of UTIs based on where the infection is*:
Urethritis - Infection of the urethra
Cystitis - Infection of the bladder
Pyelonephritis - Infection of the kidneys
Vaginitis - Infection of the vagina
Prostatitis - Infection of the prostate (men)
The type and severity of symptoms will vary from person to person. Depending whether a UTI is in the upper or lower urinary tract will also affect what symptoms are experienced. If you have a UTI, you may experience some or all of these symptoms*:
Burning pain when urinating
Increased frequency of urination, without passing much urine
The feeling your bladder is full, even if you’ve only just gone
Pressure in your lower abdomen
Pain above the pubic bone
Pelvic pain (women) or rectal pain (men)^
Urine that is cloudy, dark or has a strong odour
Blood in your urine – if you notice this, see your GP straight away
Feeling tired, shaky, confused or weak – common in older women
If a UTI has reached the kidneys, seek medical attention immediately as this can lead to more serious health conditions. In addition to the above UTI symptoms, someone with a kidney infection may also experience*:
Fever or chills
Lower abdominal pain
What causes a UTI?
Our kidneys are responsible for filtering waste product through our urine, through a tube called a ‘ureter’ which connects to the bladder. When urine leaves the kidney through the ureters and enters the bladder, our body receives the signal to wee.
Urine leaves our body through another tube called a ‘urethra’ (different to ureter)*. Urinary tract infections happen when a microbe enters the urinary tract (often through the urethra, but sometimes through the bloodstream) and multiplies, causing inflammation, pain, and other nasty side effects^.
Bacteria can get into the urethra several ways*:
The most common bacteria to cause a UTI is Escherichia coli (E. coli), which is spread from the anus to the urethra. This can occur if you wipe incorrectly and accidentally transfer faecal bacteria into the urethra
Yeast getting into the urinary tract, such as from thrush. However sometimes treating a UTI with antibiotics can lead to a yeast infection<.
Sexual transmission – it can be shared between contact with partners
Not drinking enough water – drinking plenty of water means our bladder tends to empty more frequently, and helps to flush out any bacteria from lingering in the urinary tract walls
Poor bathroom hygiene (such as wiping from back to front) may contributeusing inflammation, pain, and other nasty side effects^.
Risk factors that increase the chances of a UTI^*:
Women are at much higher risk of UTIs, because the female urethra is only four centimetres long (versus the average male urethra of 18-20cm length>) and very close to the vagina and anus, so bacteria has a much shorter distance to travel to enter the bladder.
Being sexually active
Sexually active women are vulnerable, as bacteria can be easily spread from outside.
Babies are at higher risk of UTIs. UTIs in children should be investigated as they may indicate a more serious underlying condition.
Weakened immunity can make a person more vulnerable to infection.
Pregnancy can cause changes in the urinary tract>>.
Lack of mobility or extended bed rest.
Previous history of UTIs will increase the chance of recurring UTIs.
Ongoing use of urinary catheters.
Urinary tract blockages
Such as kidney stones, enlarged prostate, and certain cancers.
Especially when managed poorly.
More common in the elderly, especially elderly women.
A note on language and gender:
Chemist King recognises that gender is not binary and that not everyone identifies with the terms male or female. However, when referring to urinary tract infection, a person's physical and anatomical structures are important to determine severity and treatment options. For this reason, we have used the terms women, men, female and male on this page.
How we can we help?
At Chemist King we can provide immediate treatment, advice and product recommendations to assist with and provide relief of urinary tract infections, including antibiotics where appropriate. Our team of friendly pharmacists are on hand to discuss any concerns, provide expert advice and recommend products that may be right for you.