If you're reading this, you might've had a UTI.

According to the stats, one in three women will have suffered a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) by the time they are 24. 

Yet the problem is, we so rarely talk about them, it can be hard to decipher fact from fiction. Thankfully, that's something we can change by arming ourselves with knowledge and talking more openly about it. 

For parents in particular, it can be an awkward topic to broach with a teenager. Why? Well... one of the key risk factors of UTIs is sexual activity (you don't have to be sexually active to get a UTI). But like anything in life, the better prepared you are, the less of an issue it is.

Here are some facts to memorise, and myths to clear up:

FACT: UTIs are very common.

Like, really common. Roughly one in two women will experience a UTI in their lifetime, according to Better Health Victoria. They're usually located in the bladder, and in most cases, when treated, are not serious or life-threatening. However, even though Urinary Tract Infections are very common, treatment may be needed, so it’s important to seek the advice of a healthcare professional.

While there are lots of risk factors for UTIs, sex is a common one. It basically makes it very easy for bacteria to get in where it shouldn't. However, there are lots of other risk factors for developing UTIs, including pregnancy, menopause, certain medical conditions, bladder problems, poor personal hygiene, a suppressed immune system and more.

FICTION: Only women get UTIs.

Women are at a greater risk of getting UTIs than men, thanks to our shorter urethras (the tube connected to the bladder that urine comes out of). The shorter urethra means that bacteria don’t have a long way to travel up into the bladder to cause an infection. The urethra in women is also close to the anus where bacteria from there can enter the urethra.

While women are more likely to get UTIs, the fact is that men can get them too. One in 20 men will experience a UTI in their lifetime. It's a big difference, right?

FACT: Not every UTI is the same.

There are three types of UTIs depending on which part of your urinary tract has been impacted. 

The parts of the urinary tract include: 

1. The bladder. 

2. The urethra. 

3. The kidneys. 

It is important to seek medical attention if you think you may have a UTI. While UTIs are common, it doesn't mean they aren't serious. If a UTI is left untreated, it can cause further complications. 

FICTION: UTIs are a sign of poor hygiene.

UTIs are the main reason women are taught and encouraged to wipe from front to back to decrease the likely spread of bacteria from the anus to the urethra.