So you’ve got a UTI and/or thrush…

What you need to know about having a UTI and thrush, as well as what you need to know about getting rid of it- from one student to another.

UTIs: they’re as common as tourists making their way through the Berkeley, except UTIs are even more common. Thrush it’s as painful as seeing someone wearing socks with sandals, but to be truthful it’s so much worse. Both of them are horrific apart, but together, it’ll make you wish you had never had sex at all. You’ve got an itch and a twitch, and not to mention a pain every time you pee, as if your vagina’s a Salem witch being burnt at the stake by crazy colonial Puritans! 

This freshers season, SciTech is here to bring you all of our top tips and tricks about how to deal with the almost inevitable UTI or bouts of thrush that might start knocking on your door in the middle of the night, like those Halls wardens telling you to shut the sesh down. So without further ado, here is everything you need to know as well as how to get rid of the bloody things! 

  1. Stop wearing a thong.

This is an easy fix. Wear some nice cotton underwear to give your vagina the space it needs to breathe and catch the breeze. 

2. Make sure to wear a pad or panty liner when you’ve got thrush or you’re treating thrush. 

The thing with thrush is that there is a cottage-cheese-like discharge that comes out in thick clots on your underwear. This is the yeast infection at work and your body’s response is by trying to get rid of this build up ASAP. Naturally, lots of discharge can end up on your underwear and throughout the day that discharge might end up causing you a lot of discomfort. As well as the discomfort, it ultimately does not really help clear up your thrush. You’re continuously exposing your poor vagina to the remnants of thrush that it’s so desperately trying to get rid of! However, sometimes if you feel that the pad is causing more irritation than comfort, an easy alternative is to just carry around other pairs of underwear in your bag and change in the toilets when you feel necessary. 

3. Get a pessary. Get some canesten 2% cream. 

Now I am well aware that they are in short supply in Ireland at the moment. If you try to look for a pessary or canesten 2% cream in a pharmacy in town, you won’t find it. At least it is highly unlikely. Your best bet is to call up pharmacies and ask until you find one and then ask them to put one aside for you until you can get it. Alternatively, local pharmacies in areas outside of the centre of town, can also be where you might find this magic wand to cure your dreadful pain. Never will you ever feel so grateful for not living in the dead centre of town.  

And don’t just take it from me, a fellow College student knows all about having thrush and is willing to share give her two cents on the sticky sitch:

“Get yourself some 2% canesten pessary and cream. Thrush can be super uncomfortable and sore, so the sooner you act on it, the less hassle you’ll have! If it’s a case where over the counter products don’t work, book a GP or College Health appointment. Since thrush is a fungal infection, it can only be treated with antifungal treatments such as canesten or an antibiotic prescribed by a doctor. Paracetamol just won’t cut it. For thrush, the pessary and cream combo seems to be really popular and can nip a thrush infection in the bud within just 3 days. Ideally as well, an antibiotic called fluconazole is very effective, but can only be accessed with a doctor’s prescription.” 

Another thing to note about the pessary is that you can’t use it when you’re on your period. Not ideal at all, I know. 

4. If it’s all they have and it’s all you can get, get it for temporary relief. 

If all else fails, get the 1% canesten cream. It’s not completely ineffective and worthless. If you’re feeling that a bout of thrush may be bubbling, use this to make sure it doesn’t get any worse. It’s not as good at treating thrush when it’s at its peak, but if you’re coming to the end of the pain, or it’s only just coming on now, it can be the thing you need in order to knock it out while it’s still in its early or milder stages. 

5. Don’t have sex again until your thrush has cleared up. JUST DON’T.

If you’re going to do anything, do this. It’s so important to wait until your vagina is fully recovered before you get back on the horse. If you don’t treat your thrush it can spread (through sex or other means) to your urethra and infect it, causing additional pain and suffering in the form of a UTI. Furthermore, its very important that if you use the pessary for thrush, you shouldn’t have penetrative sex until ideally 5 days after using it. So ultimately, don’t have sex to ensure the thrush fully clears up, but also because using a pessary can make barrier method contraception ineffective in the coming days after use. Not only do you not want to have thrush, but you also don’t want a UTI and you definitely don’t want to be pregnant. 

6. When you have a UTI, go to the toilet when you need to go. 

Don’t hold it in. If you hold it in, you’ll encourage the inflammation that’s already present causing iotas of pain during urination, as well maintaining a high level of pain even after you’ve urinated. When you feel you need to, go. If there is a queue in the bathroom, try your very best to find another bathroom, go to a different quieter one on campus, even if it means having to travel a little bit of a longer distance. Bathrooms that always have a queue are the Berkeley Arts Block ground floor bathrooms beside The Perch, those are ones to avoid at times of a UTI. It’s well worth going up to one of the bathrooms on the third or fourth floor. 

7. Be ready to fight for an emergency appointment with College Health. 

The great thing about College Health is that it’s free! The bad thing about College Health is that there never seems to be an actual GP that’s free! The only way you’ll get an emergency appointment is by calling their phone at 9am, bang on. And if they don’t pick up at nine, keep trying and trying, until you get through. I don’t mean try every 15 minutes and see. I mean call and call and call, for about 15 minutes or more until you get through. The lines are super busy in the morning but hold strong and you might get one for that day. This is the only way you’ll get an appointment. There are people that have called at 9am and even started calling 5 minutes before that and got through at ten minutes past nine only to take the last remaining appointment that College Health had available. So if it gets to the point where the cystopurin is not working any longer for the ole UTI and you need the good stuff, then you need to be on it. But once you have the appointment you’ll get sorted. If you can’t get an appointment, it might be worth paying for a GP to get that prescription paper made of gold dust. 

8. Go to the Lombard pharmacy near the Trinity Sports Centre to get 15% off your meds! 

When you’re living on a student budget, every little bit really does help. So make sure to show your T-card at the Lombard pharmacy to get 15% off your prescriptions or anything over the counter that you might need. 

9. Talk to your partner. 

If you’re with a consistent sexual partner, then he, she, or they might want to get have a look and see if they too have thrush or a UTI. UTIs and thrush are not contagious, however the little microbes that cause them like to move about a good bit and could end up getting on your partner too. If your partner is a person with a penis and your method of contraception is the male condom, there is a low chance that your partner will be affected, but there’s no harm in them checking. And it’s always good to have these conversations with your partner, to laugh and joke about them, to take away the pain. As well as this, its important to talk to your partner about the thrush or the UTI, as it is probable that even after they have more or less cleared up, it could be somewhat painful when having penetrative sex, so its important to say if its sore and that your partner knows to be gentle. 


After any sort of sex, I would say pee as soon as possible. There’s plenty of bacteria lingering waiting to make your next day a living hell, so I wouldn’t take any chances!” explains one Trinity student. 

As the infamous Shia LaBeouf said in his biggest and only motivational speech to date – JUST DO IT.  No one really knows what the time frame should be between finishing sex or peeing, but doing it ASAP is a great way to reduce the risk of a UTI or thrush.

The longer you leave it, the more chance you’re going to get a UTI or thrush (again) so down some water and persist against your pelvic floor muscles for just a minute. Somehow, someway, you need to go. And go soon. And go every time as well. Even if you’re doing a few rounds of hard core sex. Go after each round. They don’t all just count as the one shag. 

In summary, just take care of yourself. Have a few quiet nights in. The party will still be there for you when you get better. Keep yourself distracted, drink tea in bed, and watch a nice TV show. Thrush and UTIs may be common but that doesn’t make them any less painful and anything less of an ailment. You don’t have to just grin and bear it. Mix some blackcurrant with your cystopurin or cys-control to make it taste a bit better and drink as many gallons of cranberry juice as you want. But if your own over-the-counter efforts don’t seem to be working then go to the doctor and get some antibiotics. From all of us here at SciTech, we wish you a swift recovery.