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What is a recurring urinary tract infection?

The recurring urinary tract infections also called chronic UTIs can be particularly alarming.

The infection may come back because the urinary tract gets re-infected or the earlier treatment did not clear the infection entirely. The symptoms may hide during the treatment and start again after the treatment.

Why some women get recurrent UTIs?

The recurrent UTIs are caused by E.coli, a bacterium that lives in the intestinal system. If the bacterium E.coli is carried from the rectum to the vagina, it can enter the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder) and infect the bladder.

Recurrent UTIs aren’t due to poor hygiene or something that women have brought on themselves. Some women are just prone to UTIs. Around 25-30% of women who had UTI, the infection returns within 6 months.

What are the symptoms of UTI?

  • Burning urination
  • Frequent urination
  • Pain in lower abdomen or back
  • A feeling of heaviness or pressure on the abdomen
  • Urine might be cloudy and strong-smelling

What are the factors that may predispose to UTI?

Factors that may predispose to UTI are:

  • Kidney or bladder stones
  • Bacteria entering the urethra during intercourse
  • Changes in estrogen levels
  • Previous surgery on the urinary tract
  • Diabetes
  • Genes play a role as well
  • After menopause, certain physical changes increase the chances of UTI. The numbers of lactobacilli in the vagina decline naturally.

How recurrent UTIs diagnosed?

A doctor may perform the following tests to understand why UTI is recurring:

  • Urine culture test
  • Visual bladder and urethral exam
  • CT scan of the urinary tract

What medications are given to treat chronic UTIs?

Doctors generally treat UTIs with antibiotics.

  • They may recommend taking a low dose of antibiotics for a longer period.
  • Using antibiotics as a preventive measure after having sex or on the first onset of symptoms.
  • Pain-relieving medicines are given to ease discomfort.

How to protect yourself from chronic UTI?

The real problem begins when these symptoms refuse to improve even with medications. Therefore, prevention is the best way to keep it at bay permanently. To lessen your chances, you need to make some lifestyle changes.

  • Drinking plenty of water will flush out bacteria from your urinary tract, keeping it healthy and functioning well.
  • Avoid holding your urine for a longer time.
  • After urinating, wipe from front to back
  • Maintain hygiene

Recurrent UTI can be a serious health problem, therefore make some healthy lifestyle changes to effectively ward off future infections.


Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital

Address: Rao Saheb, Achutrao Patwardhan Marg, Four Bungalows, Andheri West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400053

Phone: +91-98 88 66 22 00

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