Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are extremely common and can be caused by a whole host of things from poor hygiene to simply having sex.

They occur when bacteria get into the urethra and can be extremely painful. Some people are more prone to developing a UTI than others and although they are not a sexually-transmitted infection, just the act of having sex can irritate the urethra and cause an infection.

Some people think that using condoms can cause UTIs. You are more at risk of suffering from a UTI if you use a condom with a spermicidal lubricant so it is safer to stay clear of products of this type.

Make sure your condom has non-spermicidal lubricant and always practice good hygiene. Only remove a condom from its packet when you are ready to use it and never re-use a condom.

It is also a good idea to make sure both you and your partner have clean hands when putting a condom on.

As condoms are the only contraception which offer protection from sexually-transmitted infections, it is still much safer to use a condom than to have sex without one. And remember that it is possible to develop a UTI from sex alone even when you’re not wearing a condom.

In fact, using a diaphragm increases a woman’s risk of getting a UTI and is not recommended for women who suffer from them regularly. It is thought the diaphragm prevents the woman’s bladder from completely emptying during urination, which is why a UTI might develop.

There are lots of things you can do to help prevent a UTI. These include:

• Drinking plenty of water

• Drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry capsules

• Eating lots of fibre to prevent constipation which can lead to a UTI

• Treating any constipation you do suffer from quickly by taking a mild laxative

• Always wiping from front to back if you are a woman

• Washing your genitals regularly

• Emptying your bladder after having sex

• Going to the toilet as soon as you feel the need instead of trying to hold it in