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.
What Causes Utis In The Elderly
Anything that introduces bacteria into the urinary tract or impedes the flow of urine and causes urine to stay in the bladder is very likely to cause a UTI.
Eighty five percent of all UTI infections are caused by Escherichia coli or E. coli bacteria. Several other types of bacteria make up the other fifteen percent, but E.coli is by far the most prominent, and it can make its way into the urinary tract several different ways.
E. coli is found naturally where digestion occurs in the gastrointestinal tract, so it can sneak into the urinary tract. This commonly happens because the end of the gastrointestinal tract is the anus, and the beginning of the urinary tract is the urethra. The anus and the urethra are close to one another, especially on the female body.
Due to the proximity of the entry and exit of the above two pathways, poor hygiene can cause UTIs. Back-to-front wiping after a bowel movement can transfer bacteria into the urethra. Wearing soiled underwear or disposable undergarments too long can also introduce bacteria into the urinary tract. Bacteria in both cases is an infectious traveler that multiplies.
Why Do Utis Return Despite Treatment
There are about a half-dozen oral antibiotics that treat UTIs. Sometimes a doctor will prescribe one drug, then switch to another after a urine culture identifies which bacteria is at work. Adjusting the medication can take time, and recurrent infections may occur in the meantime.
Sometimes a person starts to feel better and decides to stops taking the antibiotic contrary to the doctors instructions and another infection soon follows. Its never a good idea to stop taking antibiotics before your dosage is complete.
But even people who take medication as the doctor prescribes may get recurrent infections, Dr. Vasavada says.
If youre a younger woman who is sexually active, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to take before and after sexual activity. For post-menopausal women, a vaginal estrogen cream may help reduce infections.
If infections persist, your doctor may test for other health problems in the kidney, bladder or other parts of the urinary system.
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Can I Prevent Recurrent Utis
There are steps you can take to help reduce UTIs. The most basic is to drink plenty of fluids. This encourages frequent urination and helps flush out bacteria.
For women, following good hygiene practices is especially important:
- After a bowel movement, wipe from front to back to reduce the chance of moving E. coli bacteria from the rectal area to the urethra.
- Pee immediately before and after sex.
- Dont douche or use feminine deodorants on your genitals.
- Wear cotton underwear.
For older adults, take care to deal with retention problems, which are especially an issue as you age.
I tell them to double-void urinate and then go back and urinate again, Dr. Vasavada says.
What about drinking cranberry juice to fight UTIs?
Thats one of the most commonly asked questions, Dr. Vasavada says. Theres conflicting data. Its not going to cure an infection, but it could help prevent one, so we dont discourage it.
Confusion Alone Does Not Signal A Urinary Tract Infection
When an older adult becomes confused, many people both medical and non-medical assume that a UTI is responsible.
But aging increases the incidence of confusion and delirium, especially among those who are cognitively impaired, depressed, malnourished or completely dependent.
Delirium can be caused by various factors, the most common one being dehydration, notes Dr. Lathia.
When To See A Doctor
Its always a good idea to reach out to a doctor if youre experiencing those UTI symptoms, because remember, UTIs can affect the kidneys without prompt treatment. But this is especially important if youre susceptible to recurrent UTIs. As you can see, there are various treatment optionsand potential preventive methodsthat may be able to keep that terrible burning to a minimum.
Additional reporting by Laura Adkins.
How To Avoid The Recurrence Of Utis
Drinking lots of water, urinating before and after sexual intercourse, and not waiting to urinate can all help reduce your incidence of urinary tract infections. Other remedies include wiping from front to back after urinating, wearing cotton underwear, and seeking treatment at the first sign of a UTI.
Contact Cleveland Urology Associates at if you are experiencing early signs of a urinary tract infection.
Older Adults Dont Need Powerful Antibiotics For Utis
Treatment for UTIs should begin with narrow-spectrum antibiotics, say Dr. Lathia and Dr. Goldman.
These drugs are less likely to lead to antibiotic resistance and problematic side effects than broad-spectrum antibiotics.
Today, amoxicillin is commonly prescribed as first-line treatment for UTIs in older adults.
Other common narrow-spectrum must be used with caution when patients have chronic kidney disease or take blood pressure medication, as many older adults do or because their side effects can be serious in older adults.
There Are Plenty Of Myths Out There About Utis Including The Need To Pee After Sex
Unfortunately, many of the UTI prevention tips youve probably heard are also among the least evidence-based. There are a lot of old wives tales about , none of which has ever been really proven to impact anything, Goldman says. For example, there is a surprising lack of hard science showing a correlation between recurring UTIs and frequency of urination, hot tub or bubble bath use, or wearing tight clothing, according to Ja-Hong Kim, an associate professor of urology at UCLA School of Medicine.
Even the most sensible-sounding post-intercourse UTI prevention tip of all should be met with some skepticism: peeing after sex. Voiding after sex can theoretically flush bacteria out, Kobashi says. But the efficacy of this common habit just doesnt hold up under scrutiny. I hate to say it, but Im not sure theres any data that supports that, Goldman tells Allure. Kim adds, Review of scientific literature has failed to show any association between recurrent UTIs and voiding patterns before after intercourse.” Of course, however, theres certainly no harm in the post-sex pee, as Goldman points out. So by all means, go for it just know youre not necessarily nixing your chance of getting an infection.
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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.
Why Do I Get So Many Urinary Tract Infections
I always have urinary tract infections,I get an antibiotic.It goes away,2 weeks later it is back.I am taking manose daily,which is suppose to help,I do everything I can think of to protect from them,washing. everytime after toilet.Cotton underwear.cranbery juice,and lots of water.They still keep coming.I have had 3 in 6 weeks.and before that regularly.HELP ME PLEASE.My Dr has tried all kinds of things.He even gave me a hormone treatment to use He says sometimes women after menopause have problems with not enough hormone
It sounds like you are in a frustrating cycle. How long has this been going on? I gathered from your post that you are post menopausal, how many years?
A decrease in estrogen can lead to atrophy of the vaginal tissue. This can also lead to a decrease in normal vaginal flora, which alters the pH of the vagina. Normal vaginal pH should be between 3.5 and 4.5 and we often see this elevated in post menopausal women. This can in turn lead to increase risk for infection and this includes the urinary tract as well as the vagina.
So things you can do include all of the good suggestions Rosa posted for you and also supportive local treatment for the vaginal tissue. Estriol locally, most likely what your physician gave you, can help as well as vitamin E suppositories and lactobacillus suppositories.
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How Do Utis Affect People With Dementia
If someone with dementia develops a UTI, they may quickly become more confused or agitated, or you might notice a sudden change in their behaviour. This sudden confusion is also known as delirium.
The person with dementia may not be able to communicate how they feel, so if you notice a sudden or drastic change in them, seek medical advice. Infections can speed up the progression of dementia, so it’s important to get help quickly if you suspect someone has a UTI.
Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections In Women: Diagnosis And Management
CHARLES M. KODNER, MD, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, Kentucky
EMILY K. THOMAS GUPTON, DO, MPH, Primary Care Medical Center, Murray, Kentucky
Am Fam Physician. 2010 Sep 15 82:638-643.
Recurrent urinary tract infections are common in women and associated with considerable morbidity and health care use. The clinical features, diagnostic testing, and causative organisms are often similar to those of single cases of UTI, although there are additional treatment strategies and prevention measures to consider with recurrent UTIs.
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
A urine culture with greater than 102 colony-forming units per mL is considered positive in patients who have symptoms of UTI.
|Clinical recommendation||Evidence rating||References|
Continuous and postcoital antimicrobial prophylaxis have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing the risk of recurrent UTIs.
Cranberry products may reduce the incidence of recurrent symptomatic UTIs.
Use of topical estrogen may reduce the incidence of recurrent UTIs in postmenopausal women.
Treatment of complicated UTIs should begin with broad-spectrum antibiotic coverage, with adjustment of antimicrobial coverage guided by culture results.
Prophylactic antimicrobial therapy to prevent recurrent UTIs is not recommended for patients with complicated UTIs.
UTI = urinary tract infection.
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
UTI = urinary tract infection.
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When To Get Medical Advice
It’s a good idea to see your GP if you think you might have a UTI, particularly if:
- you have symptoms of an upper UTI
- the symptoms are severe or getting worse
- the symptoms haven’t started to improve after a few days
- you get UTIs frequently
Your GP can rule out other possible causes of your symptoms by testing a sample of your urine and can prescribe antibiotics if you do have an infection.
Antibiotics are usually recommended because untreated UTIs can potentially cause serious problems if they’re allowed to spread.
Causes Of Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs are usually caused by bacteria from poo entering the urinary tract.
The bacteria enter through the tube that carries pee out of the body .
Women have a shorter urethra than men. This means bacteria are more likely to reach the bladder or kidneys and cause an infection.
Things that increase the risk of bacteria getting into the bladder include:
- having sex
do not use scented soap
do not hold your pee in if you feel the urge to go
do not rush when going for a pee try to fully empty your bladder
do not wear tight, synthetic underwear, such as nylon
do not drink lots of alcoholic drinks, as they may irritate your bladder
do not have lots of sugary food or drinks, as they may encourage bacteria to grow
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Why Do The Elderly Get Urinary Tract Infections
By | Submitted On January 18, 2009
Urinary tract infection is the most common infection in elderly people and is the most common cause of bacteremia. The pervasiveness of bacteremia is very much related with age.
Factors that mystify the diagnosis of urinary tract infection in older people include existing underlying pathological condition, drug regimen or drug exposure, manifold appearances of symptoms, and the widespread existence of urinary symptoms not related to UTI.
Those who are concerned in the care of the elderly people with urinary tract infection must consider predisposing factors, safe and effective preventions, optimal assessment approaches, and therapeutic antimicrobial therapies at this time on hand for safe and effective use in the midst of this tolerant populace.
Studies in different countries have shown that urinary tract infection among the elderly is out of control, both in their own home and in institutional care centers are at risk for this pathologic condition.
More than a few learning have found out that many nursing home inhabitants have an insufficient intake of calories, proteins, vitamins and minerals.
That thereby lead to conditions like urinary tract infection, including cystitis, pyelonephritis and catheter-related infections are amongst the most ordinary nursing home acquired infections.
Late detection of urinary tract infection in the elderly is highly related to the often asymptomatic presence of bacteriuria.
Cranberry Juice And Tablets
Cranberry juice and tablets have been shown to reduce RUTIs as they contain a compound called tannin, or proanthocyanidin, which reduces E. coli vaginal colonisation., Although earlier, smaller studies have shown that consuming cranberry juice or tablets can prevent RUTIs, an updated Cochrane review showed that evidence for its benefit in preventing UTIs is small therefore, cranberry juice cannot be recommended any longer for UTI prevention.,
When Urinary Tract Infections Keep Coming Back
If you are prone to recurrent UTIs, you can head them off before they take hold.
Unless you’re in the fortunate minority of women who have never had a urinary tract infection , you know the symptoms well. You might feel a frequent urgency to urinate yet pass little urine when you go. Your urine might be cloudy, blood-tinged, and strong-smelling. For 25% to 30% of women who’ve had a urinary tract infection, the infection returns within six months.
If you have repeated UTIs, you’ve experienced the toll they take on your life. However, you may take some comfort in knowing that they aren’t likely to be the result of anything you’ve done. “Recurrent UTIs aren’t due to poor hygiene or something else that women have brought on themselves. Some women are just prone to UTIs,” says infectious diseases specialist Dr. Kalpana Gupta, a lecturer in medicine at Harvard Medical School.
How To Prevent A Uti In Your 60s
Theyre painful, irritating and often arrive at the most inopportune times, and unfortunately urinary tract infections are all too common among both men and women.
Women in particular are more prone to UTIs, which can become more frequent as we age due to changes down there.
While there are prescription and over-the-counter drugs to treat UTIs, there are also a number of natural ways you can prevent getting one in the first place and avoid those painful trips to the toilet.
Can Recurrent Utis Be A Sign Of Cancer
Both UTIs and bladder cancer can cause similar symptoms, such as a frequent need to urinate and even blood in the urine, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center.
According to the American Cancer Society, urinary tract infections, kidney and bladder stones, and other causes of chronic bladder irritation have been linked to bladder cancer. However, its not clear whether recurrent urinary or bladder infections can actually cause bladder cancer or whether they constitute a true risk factor for bladder cancer.
The biggest known risk factor for bladder cancer is smoking. The risk of bladder cancer also increases with age. Most people who get bladder cancer are over the age of 55.
If you think you may have chronic or recurrent UTIs, its best to get checked out by your doctor. Your provider can rule out other health issues, including bladder cancer, and get you the treatment you need to get rid of chronic UTIs.
Reasons You May Be Getting Recurring Utis
A UTI is an infection in any part of your urinary tract. Having one UTI is painful enough, but having them come back can be quite frustrating. If you get three or more of these infections within a year, this recurrence is known as chronic. However, the reasons you may be getting recurring UTIs might surprise you. Time to find out why and what to do about it.
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