Information for the public

Urinary tract infection: the care you should expect

Urinary tract infections (sometimes called UTIs or water infections) are common, especially in young children. They affect the kidney, bladder and the tubes that connect them and carry urine out of the body. Most UTIs clear up easily with antibiotics, but some can be linked to kidney problems and can increase the risk of high blood pressure when you get older.

We want this guideline to make a difference to under 16s with UTI by making sure:

  • infections are diagnosed and treated quickly and you have more tests to check your kidneys and bladder if needed
  • children who might have more serious problems are seen by a kidney specialist
  • you get good information and advice about how to recognise symptoms of UTIs, testing urine, treatments and how to stop infection from coming back.

Making decisions together

Decisions about treatment and care are best when they are made together. Your health professionals should give you clear information and explain about the likely benefits and downsides of any treatment. They should help you to understand your options and listen carefully to your views and concerns. They should talk to you about how much you want to be involved in decisions, this may change over time.

To help you make decisions, think about:

  • What matters most to you; what do you want to get out of any treatment or care?
  • What are you most worried about; are there risks or downsides to a treatment that worry you more than others?
  • How will the treatment affect your day-to-day life?
  • What happens if you do not want to have treatment?

If you cannot understand the information you are given, tell your health professional.

Read more about making decisions about your care.

Where can I find out more?

The NHS website has more information about UTIs.

The organisations below can give you more advice and support:

To share an experience of care you have received, contact your local Healthwatch.

NICE is not responsible for the content of these websites.

We wrote this guideline with people who have been affected by UTIs and staff who treat and support them. All the decisions are based on the best research available.

ISBN: 978-1-4731-4649-5

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