Things You Can Do Yourself
To help ease pain:
- takeparacetamolup to 4 times a day to reduce pain and a high temperature for people with a UTI, paracetamol is usually recommended over NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or aspirin
- you can give childrenliquid paracetamol
- rest and drink enough fluids so you pass pale urine regularly during the day, especially during hot weather
Its important to follow the instructions on the packet so you know how much paracetamol you or your child can take, and how often.
It may also help to avoid having sex until you feel better.
You cannot pass a UTI on to your partner, but sex may be uncomfortable.
Taking cystitis sachets or cranberry products has not been shown to help ease symptoms of UTIs.
What Can You Do If You Keep Getting Utis
If you keep getting UTIs, you must talk to your doctor. After talking with you, your doctor will either recommend treatments for recurring urinary infections or send you to a special doctor called a urologist. A urologist focuses on diseases and problems of the entire urinary system, so he may be able to better pinpoint what is causing your infections and how to treat and prevent them.In addition to the tips mentioned above, you can also take some other simple steps to help prevent UTIs, such as:
- Drink plenty of water.
Youve Got A Cold The Flu Or Allergies
You may be tempted to curse your seasonal sneezes, a cold, or the dreaded flu for making your life even more miserable with a UTI, but these ailments arent the cause. The meds you take to manage symptoms could be.
Though theyre the bomb at keeping your runny or stuffy nose in check, antihistamines and decongestants might make you go less by causing urinary retention. And see No. 6 that may lead to a UTI.
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How Can I Help Prevent Recurrent Utis
You can help your child reduce their risk of developing another UTI. Dr. Kronborg shares these suggestions to help prevent infections down the road.
What Causes Urinary Tract Infections
Normal urine is sterile and contains fluids, salts, and waste products. It does not contain bacteria, viruses, or fungi. A UTI occurs when germs, most often bacteria from the digestive tract, get into the opening of the urethra and start to multiply.
Most UTIs are caused by E. coli bacteria, which normally live in the colon.
What Are Chronic Urinary Tract Infections
A UTI occurs when bacteria gets into your urine and travels through the urinary tract. It can also get into the bladder and cause inflammation. When this happens, the condition is called cystitis or a bladder infection.
If you have two or more urinary tract infections in six months, or more than three in a year, that is considered a chronic or recurrent UTI.
How Does An Infection Become Chronic
Chronic UTIs develop when acute or simple infections are left untreated or fail to get better with standard treatments such as over-the-counter remedies or the short courses of antibiotics that GPs usually prescribe.Over time the bacteria that cause UTIs move from the urine and into the cells of the bladder wall where they are protected from antibiotics and become harder to kill. Bacteria cause the bladder cells to become inflamed. This allows the bacteria to stick to the tissues and become harder to flush out.
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What Conditions Are Related To Recurrent Utis
Recurrent UTIs sometimes happen along with other conditions, such as:
- vesicoureteral reflux , which is found in 30%50% of kids diagnosed with a UTI. In this congenital condition, pee flows backward from the bladder to the ureters. Ureters are thin, tube-like structures that carry pee from the kidney to the bladder. Sometimes the pee backs up to the kidneys. If it’s infected with bacteria, it can lead to pyelonephritis.
- hydronephrosis, which is an enlargement of one or both kidneys due to backup or blockage of urine flow. It’s usually caused by severe VUR or a blocked ureter. Some kids with hydronephrosis might need to take daily low doses of antibiotics to prevent UTIs until the condition producing hydronephrosis gets better or is fixed through surgery.
But not all cases of recurrent UTIs can be traced back to these body structure-related problems. For example, dysfunctional voiding when a child doesn’t relax the muscles properly while peeing is a common cause of UTIs. Not peeing often enough also can also increase a child’s risk for recurrent infections. Both dysfunctional voiding and infrequent urination can be associated with constipation.
Rarely, unrelated conditions that harm the body’s natural defenses, such as diseases of the immune system, also can lead to recurrent UTIs. Use of a nonsterile urinary catheter can introduce bacteria into the urinary tract and also cause an infection.
Persistent Uti Vs Recurrent Or Frequent Uti: Whats The Difference
|A recurrent urinary tract infection is officially defined as three episodes of a UTI in the previous 12 months or two episodes within the previous 6 months.|
At the moment, it is generally accepted that recurrent UTIs occur due to either reinfection or a persistent infection.
|Reinfection refers to an infection where the pathogen is eradicated by treatment, then the same or a different pathogen ascends the urinary tract to cause a new infection.|
|Persistence means the pathogen that caused the UTI is not completely cleared from the bladder by treatment, remains detectable in the urine, and after treatment returns to a level that once again causes symptoms of infection. This cycle of persistence can repeat indefinitely, feeling like a new infection each time. A persistent infection is also called a chronic urinary tract infection.|
Evidence suggests that many recurrences of UTI may actually be caused by an underlying bladder infection that came about due to ineffective initial treatment.
Frequent UTIs caused by persistent bladder infection are also referred to as chronic cystitis or chronic urinary tract infection.
Note that while terms used for various urinary tract conditions may sound different, they could refer to the same thing.
When we refer to recurrent UTI in this site, we usually mean persistent infections also called chronic urinary tract infections.
Whatever youre doing to treat each occurrence of UTI is probably not working.
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Which Bacteria Cause Uti
Escherichia coli is the most common cause of UTI and is responsible for about 80 to 85% of all UTIs. Other bacteria involved in UTIs include Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Klebsiella, Pseudomonas and Enterococcus. UTIs are rarely due to viral, fungal and parasitic infections.
It is thought that in women who experience recurrent bacterial UTI that the normal healthy bacteria that live in the vagina are replaced by uropathogenic bacteria from the bowel. Uropathogenic bacteria have features that make it easier for them to enter, breed and survive in the urinary tract.
You Eat A Lot Of Sugar
Bacteria that cause UTIs love feeding on sugar, so you run the risk of providing a feast for them whenever your sweet tooth strikes. Kalas V, et al. Structure-based discovery of glycomimetic FmlH ligands as inhibitors of bacterial adhesion during urinary tract infection. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1720140115
If you eat tons of added sugars and get a real surge in your blood sugar, you may end up with some of that sugar in your urine, says Mary Jane Minkin, MD, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Yale School of Medicine.
Some foods and beverages, like coffee, booze, and chocolate, can also irritate your delicate urinary tract and exacerbate an existing UTI.
Is It Really A Uti
It is important to confirm a UTI with a urine specimen .
Cystitis or bladder inflammation is most commonly caused by a UTI, but there are many other conditions that can cause similar symptoms. Some patients are treated for recurrent UTIs when the actual problem is not urinary infection at all but one of the following problems:
- Common genital infections including:
- Candida infections of the vagina and vulva
- Sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia or gonorrhoea
What Is The Prognosis For A Person With A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections typically respond very well to treatment. A UTI can be uncomfortable before you start treatment, but once your healthcare provider identifies the type of bacteria and prescribes the right antibiotic medication, your symptoms should improve quickly. Its important to keep taking your medication for the entire amount of time your healthcare provider prescribed. If you have frequent UTIs or if your symptoms arent improving, your provider may test to see if its an antibiotic-resistant infection. These are more complicated infections to treat and may require intravenous antibiotics or alternative treatments.
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My Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections Treatment Regimen
I didnt realize at the time that this was the beginning of my recovery. My regimen took me to a place where I no longer had any symptoms. I was able to stop taking supplements on a daily basis. It wasnt about managing my symptoms anymore, they were just gone.
I was basically back at square one and I wanted a fresh start. I wanted more information everything I could get my hands on. I started with a range of blood tests to check my general health.
I discovered I was quite low in a few essential vitamins and minerals. In speaking with clinicians I have learned this is very common in people who have been fighting long term chronic infection.
First, I began to take a range of supplements targeting my deficiencies. Then I created a regimen of strong herbal antifungals and antibacterials based on the advice of my new doctor.
These were teamed up with oral and vaginal probiotics that contained probiotic strains showing promise for urinary tract and vaginal health.
I had tried all of these separately after reading studies about each of them. But I had never tried them together, or with a plan and a timeframe in mind.
I started my new regimen.
Why Tracking Your Symptoms Can Help
Now, I dont know about you, but I love a good spreadsheet. And its amazing how much more fulfilling a health regimen can be when you plot it out, then mark off your progress daily. Feels so goooood.
I downloaded a counter on my phone to track how many days since my last UTI at the very least I would see how long I could last between episodes.
Every morning I woke up and looked at my counter. After 30 days I started to feel my first glimmer of hope. I was still getting twinges and minor symptoms, but nothing I couldnt handle.
My first milestone came around that time, when I went hiking with my partner. Without a map, without a compass, and without enough water. We got lost. We were out there for 10 hours and I was dehydrated.
But I didnt get a UTI. And I didnt even think about it until I was home safe again. That alone blew my mind. This thing that had been my focus for four years had somehow become an afterthought.
The counter kept going up. 45 days, 60 days, 90 days since a UTI. I suddenly felt like declaring myself officially healed of recurrent UTIs at the six month point might not be so far-fetched.
Sometime, around three months in, I had a relapse of symptoms and upped some elements of my regimen in response. That UTI never happened and my count remained intact.
Six months came and went and I set my sights on a year UTI free.
Amazingly, my UTI regimen also cleared up my yeast infections. Four years later, Ive not had even the slightest hint of one returning.
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Chronic Urinary Tract Infection Causes
Urinary tract infections result from bacteria finding its way into your urine. Although urine is normally bacteria-free, there are many ways bacteria can enter your urinary tract. Causes and risk factors include:
- Sexual intercourse
- Certain types of birth control
- Low estrogen levels
- Holding in urine or not emptying your bladder completely
- Not drinking enough water
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Other Ways To Prevent Some Utis Coming Back
If you keep getting a bladder infection , there is some evidence it may be helpful to take:
- D-mannose a sugar you can buy as a powder or tablets to take every day
- cranberry products available as juice, tablets or capsules to take every day
Speak to your doctor before taking any of these during pregnancy.
Be aware that D-mannose and cranberry products can contain a lot of sugar.
If you’re taking warfarin, you should avoid cranberry products.
Page last reviewed: 22 March 2022 Next review due: 22 March 2025
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When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider
- Back pain.
If you have any of these symptoms, or your other symptoms continue after treatment, call your healthcare provider. A UTI can spread throughout your urinary tract and into other parts of your body. However, treatment is very effective and can quickly relieve your symptoms.
Causes Of Recurrent Utis
Recurrent UTIs are a painful, inconvenient problem that affects 20 percent to 30 percent of all women. UTIs occur when bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract move from the anus to the urethra and into the urinary tract, potentially infecting the urethra, bladder, ureters, or kidneys.
Women who experience two or more UTIs in a six-month period, or those who have three or more UTIs in the course of a year are diagnosed with recurrent UTIs.
Sexual intercourse is a common cause of UTIs in women. People who use catheters are also at increased risk of developing recurrent UTIs.
After experiencing six or more UTIs a year, Marie knew there was a bigger problem. Learn how she finally found an answer at CU Urogynecology.
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Why Some Women Get Recurrent Utis
The infections are usually caused by Escherichia coli, a bacterium that lives in the intestinal system. If E. coli are carried from the rectum to the vagina, they can enter the urethra and infect the bladder.
Risk factors for UTI vary with age. Before menopause, the most common risk factors are sexual intercourse and use of spermicides. It’s thought that sex increases the number of bacteria in the bladder, and many experts advise women to urinate after sex to flush them out. Spermicides may kill off Lactobacilli, beneficial bacteria in the vagina, making it easier for E. coli to move in.
After menopause, certain physical changes help set the stage for UTIs. The numbers of Lactobacilli in the vagina naturally decline. The bladder also contracts less strongly than it once did, making it more difficult to empty it completely.
In both premenopausal and postmenopausal women, genes play a role as well. Having a mother or sister who has frequent UTIs is also a risk factor.
How My Uti Story Applies To You
Although I recovered from recurrent urinary tract infections to the point where I no longer had to take medication or supplements to manage my symptoms , this isnt a story about a miracle cure.
There is rarely such a thing when it comes to recurrent UTI. I promise I will provide more insight into what worked for me, but I do want to say this:
Thinking one persons approach will work for everyone else is like saying youve found a single pair of jeans that fits everyone perfectly.
But before you jump to the next blog post promising a 24 hour cure, Ill tell you why this story may apply to you. Its about finding the root cause of your recurrent UTIs, and addressing it.
Only by addressing the root cause of frequent UTIs can you hope to break the cycle of symptoms and treatment. Breaking the cycle will likely mean sacrifices, and this is a story about permanent change for the better.
If there is one piece of advice I will freely give to other recurrent UTI sufferers, its that knowledge is the key to recovery.
Learn everything you can about why UTIs can become recurrent, other causes of lower urinary tract symptoms, and how your overall health can prevent you from getting well. Hopefully, my story will help.
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