UTIs aren’t ,
but they do need .


There’s no shame in getting a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). The urinary tract is the name for the body’s urinary system, which includes the bladder, the ureters, the kidneys and the urethra (where wee comes out).

Cystitis is a common UTI. It occurs when the bacteria that live in the bowel get into the urethra (the urinary canal). They can sometimes make their way up to the bladder, where they can cause inflammation. As the opening to the urethra is close to the anus, it’s quite easy for bacteria to get into it.

So how does bacteria get into your urinary tract? Wiping forwards from your bum after using the toilet is one way. People with vaginas should wipe from front to back.

Another way to help prevent the likelihood of Cystitis is to always wee after having sex, as this helps to clear the urethra of bacteria.

Symptoms of Cystitis include :

  • pain or a burning sensation when weeing
  • cloudy wee
  • needing to wee more urgently and/or more often than usual
  • lower tummy pain

Alcohol, coffee and soft drinks can make symptoms worse. Drinking lots of water and weeing frequently can help.

Things that increase the chance of bacteria getting into the bladder, and therefore possibly cystitis, can include:

  • wiping from back to front after going to the toilet
  • hormonal changes during pregnancy
  • having diabetes
  • having a weakened immune system

While Cystitis can go away on its own, it’s really important to see a doctor if you’re unsure of your symptoms or suffering from Cystitis for the first time. Cystitis is usually treated with antibiotics, prescribed by a doctor.

I had [UTIs] recurrently for months, which resulted in scarring and consequential surgery. My advice - never feel your pain is invalid. Always see your doctor and always insist on medical treatment.

-H, 26

Take control of your intimate health

Sometimes the symptoms of conditions like thrush, BV, cystitis or vaginal dryness can be confusing. But don’t worry, help is at your fingertips!
This free, online symptom checker is powered by Ada in partnership with Canesten and uses AI to match your symptoms with possible conditions. It is optimised by doctors to help you understand your symptoms and what might be causing them.

We encourage you to speak to a healthcare professional to confirm your diagnosis.

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