Urinary Tract Infections typically respond well to treatment, but some people experience UTIs that come right back after antibiotics. While it may not be immediate, recurrent UTIs impact as many as one in five women each year.
Dealing with chronic UTIs can feel discouraging, but there are simple, helpful treatments available. In this article, we will outline recurrent UTI causes, treatments, and practical prevention tips.
What Is A Recurrent UTI?
Simply getting your second UTI does not mean you have a recurrent UTI. Instead, the timeframe is very important.
The definition of a recurrent UTI is experiencing 2 or more urinary tract infections in 6 months or less, or 3 or more urinary tract infections in less than 1 year.
It is important to note that this refers to separate occurrences, not an infection that was improperly dealt with leading to recurring symptoms. To help distinguish this, a relapse occurs less than 2 weeks after the original infection, while a reinfection is anything after 2 weeks from the original infection time.
Recurrent UTI Causes
Many factors contribute to a recurrent UTI. Below are a few risk factors to consider.
Women make up the vast majority of UTI cases given female anatomy. A woman’s urethra is shorter than a man’s and is also closer to the anus. This makes it easier for bacteria to travel up the urethra causing a UTI.
Given that the cause of a UTI is bacterial, sexual activity makes it easier for bacteria to spread. This risk is increased if you are with a new sexual partner.
Regular hygiene keeps harmful bacteria from staying near your urethra. If you stay in damp clothes, like after swimming or working out, you increase your risk of a recurrent UTI.
Drink Plenty of Water: Increasing your water intake will naturally increase the amount you urinate. This helps flush your system of harmful bacteria.
Use Proper Hygiene, Especially After Sex: Regular hygiene can help eliminate harmful bacteria. Be sure to wash yourself regularly and change any pads or other feminine products in a timely manner. It is also recommended to urinate after intercourse.
Avoid Tight Clothing: Tight clothing keeps harmful bacteria close to your urethra, increasing the chances of a recurrent UTI. Opt for clothing that fits more loosely.
Fortunately, a recurrent UTI is easily treatable. At Live Urgent Care, we offer UTI screenings and treatment both in person and through our telehealth services. Our board-certified providers can help make chronic UTIs a thing of the past with simple, non-invasive treatment. Walk in or book ahead at any of our urgent care clinics today.