Your first UTI – CUTIC members share their experiences

150 people completed our first survey about your first UTI. We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to do so. We’ll be using this valuable information to shape our work over the coming months. Here are the results….

Who took part

The overwhelming majority who took part were female. Most answered for themselves and about ⅙ on behalf of someone. All ages were represented.

  • 1% under 18
  • 13% under 30
  • 23% 30-40
  • 24% 40-50
  • 18% 50-60
  • 22% 60 plus

When are you most likely to get your first UTI?

The results showed a real spread of ages. UTIs can happen at any time of life.
Almost half got their first UTI at 21 or younger.
About 1/4 got their first UTI aged 50 or older.

  • 14% 10 or under
  • 35% 21 or under
  • 25% 35 or under
  • 17% 50 or under
  • 4% 60 or under
  • 4% over 60

How was the UTI diagnosed?

Visiting the GP with a UTI for the first time:

  • 84% were asked about your symptoms.
  • Over 3/4 (78%) were asked for a urine sample.
  • 70% had a dipstick test to check for an infection.
  • Just under half (46%) had their urine sample sent to a lab for testing.
  • Only 28% were contacted again with the results of the urine analysis results.
  • And only 10% of these were given details of the bacteria found.


Over 90% were prescribed antibiotics. Prescriptions ranged from:

  • 3 days 27%
  • 5 days 27%
  • 7 days 25%
  • longer than a week 10%

Over two thirds (70%) said their GP didn’t explain any of the side effects of antibiotics.

About 1/5 (8%) weren’t prescribed antibiotics by their GP. Reasons given ranged from:

  • No evidence of an infection – (26%)
  • Asked to redo urine sample due to contamination or inconclusive results – 11%
  • GP felt symptoms could be self managed – 11%

Self management of UTIs

Only 1/5 (20%) said their GP explained self-management treatments to them.
Only 1/4 (26%) of GPs provided advice on avoiding UTIs in future.

In all only ¼ (25%) felt confident they could deal with another infection in the future.

Key findings

GPs should educate patients on UTIs

These results show that patients need education and guidance from their GP in UTI avoidance and management.
75% of respondents were left to research how to avoid future infections themselves. Given that most people in this survey experience their first UTI under the age of 21, education from a healthcare professional is critical.


Just under 50% did not have their samples sent off for analysis even though 70% had their urine dipsticked. Of those that were sent off to the lab over half of these samples showed no evidence of infection.

Antibiotic prescription

90% of patients were given antibiotics for their first infection which may highlight the pressure that GPs are under to prescribe even if the antibiotics may not be appropriate or be suitable for the bacterial infection. But for over 70% of people their GP did not explain the possible side effects of the antibiotics they prescribed.