Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common types of infection in the United States. UTIs include infections of your kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra — and they’re often painful.
About 40% of women and 12% of men get at least one UTI in their lifetimes. Most UTIs resolve with a round of prescription antibiotics, but for some people, UTI symptoms keep coming back.
Recurring UTIs can cause chronic bladder pain, permanent kidney damage, and other complications. UTIs that never seem to go away can be frustrating, but Sudha Challa, MD, and our team at Lenox Medical Clinic offer effective solutions.
We specialize in women’s health and geriatric care and team with you to find a treatment plan to curb UTIs and stop your symptoms.
Are you at risk for recurring UTIs?
Anyone can get a UTI, but certain factors could make you more likely to develop these bothersome infections. Your risk of UTI may be higher if you:
- Are female
- Are sexually active
- Have a weak immune system
- Have kidney stones or other blockages
- Use a catheter
Women are more likely to get UTIs than men simply because of their anatomy. Women have shorter urethras than men, which means bacteria don’t have to travel as far to reach the bladder.
Older people are also more likely to get UTIs. Post-menopausal women or women with bladder prolapse and men with an enlarged prostate are at risk, too.
Up to 30% of women who get a UTI will experience another within six months. If you get two or more UTIs within six months or four UTIs within one year, you may be diagnosed with recurring UTIs.
Treatment options for recurring UTIs
All UTIs require treatment. Even if it’s your first UTI, it won’t go away on its own, and it could pose health risks if left untreated. Dr. Challa diagnoses UTIs with urinalysis lab testing.
If Dr. Challa identifies a UTI, she often begins by prescribing antibiotics. You may start feeling better after a few days of taking the medication, but it’s important to take it as prescribed until it’s gone so the infection is eliminated.
If you’re diagnosed with recurring UTIs, a short round of antibiotics typically isn’t effective. People with recurring UTIs may benefit from a longer course of lower-dose antibiotics.
Dr. Challa may also prescribe an oral antibiotic for you to take before and after having sex. If you’re in menopause or post-menopausal, topical estrogen cream can help reduce UTIs.
If you’ve tried all these treatment options, and you’re still dealing with recurring infections, Dr. Challa may order additional tests to check for other issues in your urinary system.
There are ways you can reduce your risk of developing UTIs, too. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and urinate frequently. Always urinate before and after sexual intercourse, and be sure to wipe from front to back when you use the toilet.
You don’t have to live with persistent UTIs. Find compassionate care and treatment options that fit your needs at Lenox Medical Clinic. Schedule an appointment online or call our Chamblee or Johns Creek, Georgia, offices today.