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Drinking water can help flush urine through and ease discomfort from urinary problems.

Drinking water can help flush urine through and ease discomfort from urinary problems.
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Urinary problems

The urinary tract is the part of the body that deals with storing and removing urine from the body. It is quite common for people to get infections in this part of their body.

A urinary tract infection (UTI) occurs when an infection, usually caused by bacteria, enters the urinary tract.

If that infection is in the bladder, it is known as cystitis. Cystitis can also be caused by irritation, even without an infection.

The main symptom of a urinary tract infection, including cystitis, is the need to pass urine more often than usual. You may often feel an irritation as well.

If those are the only symptoms you have, then you may be able to deal with the problem by yourself. But you should see a doctor if you have these symptoms and:

  • you feel unwell
  • you have a temperature
  • you have looked after yourself but it has not got better.

Looking after yourself

If you have urinary problems, you can help ease the symptoms.

Drink more water than usual, to help flush urine through, unless you have a medical condition which means this is not possible.

If you are in pain, get advice on which pain relief medicines you can take. Talk to your pharmacist.

You may be able to take medicines called urinary alkalinisers. These relieve the pain and burning of cystitis and are available from pharmacies without prescription. They are not antibiotics, but work by neutralising the acid in the urine that causes the pain. But they are not suitable for everyone, so check with a pharmacist first.

Some people use cranberry juice to treat or prevent UTIs. There is not enough evidence from research to suggest it will work, but it might help relieve symptoms. But you should not drink cranberry juice or take cranberry extracts if you are taking warfarin (a medicine used to prevent blood clots).

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about urinary problems, check your symptoms with healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Last reviewed: July 2015

Need more information?

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Urinary tract infection (UTI) - myDr.com.au

Urinary tract infection occurs when part of the urinary tract becomes infected. UTIs are usually caused by bacteria and generally clear up with a course of antibiotics.

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Urinary tract infection (UTI) - Lab Tests Online AU

A UTI is an infection of one or more parts of the urinary tract. The urinary tract consists of two kidneys, two ureters, a bladder, and a urethra. The kidneys are bean-shaped organs found in the lower back below the ribcage. They filter waste out of the blood and produce urine to carry the waste and excess water out of the body. The urine is carried through the ureters (tubes) from the kidneys to the bladder.

Read more on Lab Tests Online website

Cystitis

Cystitis is an inflammation (swelling) of the bladder, usually caused by an infection. It affects women more than men, and can occur at any age.

Read more on WA Health website

Urinary Tract Infections

Your urinary system is made up of the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Your kidneys do   many important jobs. One is to remove waste   and extra fluid from the blood to make urine.

Read more on Kidney Health Australia website

Cystitis | Better Health Channel

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Parenting and Child Health - Health Topics - Urinary tract infection in young children (UTIs)

The urinary tract means the bladder andkidneys, and the tubes running between them, and the tube from the bladder out of the body.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

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