It is estimated that 1 in every 5 women suffers from recurrent urinary tract infections, also known as chronic UTI. Chronic urinary tract infections are infections of the urinary tract that do not respond to treatment. Here, you will learn the symptoms, causes, and treatments for recurrent UTIs.
Symptoms of a Recurrent UTI
Chronic urinary tract infections can cause a variety of symptoms, so it is important to talk to your doctor right away if you are experiencing any of the following:
– Frequent urination
– Bloody or dark urine
– Burning sensation when urinating
– Pain in your lower back or below the ribs
What Causes Recurrent UTI?
Chronic UTIs are caused by a bacterial infection. In the majority of cases, bacteria enter the urinary system through the urethra and then multiply in the bladder. While there are many contributing factors, we can better understand chronic UTIs when broken up into two groups: urethral infections and bladder infections.
Urethral Infections – Bacteria such as E. coli or sexually transmitted infections like herpes, gonorrhea and chlamydia, can cause an infection in the urethra, leading to chronic UTI.
Bladder Infections – E. coli is a common cause of bacteria in the bladder. While the E. coli bacteria typically lives in the intestines of healthy individuals, if the bacteria find its way into the urinary tract, it can cause an infection.
Besides urethral infections and bladder infections, chronic UTIs can be related to menopause as well.
Treatments for Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections
While regular urinary tract infections are treated with antibiotics and typically go away within one week, chronic urinary tract infections require long-term, low-dose antibiotics for more than one week after the initial symptoms subside. Your doctor will likely monitor your urinary system closely and may ask that you perform regular urine tests at home to check for any infection. If your symptoms are related to menopause, vaginal estrogen therapy may be a viable option.
Some studies have shown that daily consumption of cranberry juice or cranberry extract can help to minimize the recurrence of urinary tract infections as well. Learn additional UTI Do’s and Don’ts here.
Do You See a Gynecologist for a UTI? Yes. Contact OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch for Treatment
If you are suffering from recurrent urinary tract infections, visit the professionals at OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch. We will determine the cause of your chronic urinary tract infections and provide the right treatment for you. Give us a call today to speak with one of our friendly team members, or schedule your appointment online!