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Recurrent urinary tract infections

Recurrent urinary tract infections (sometimes called “chronic urinary tract infection”) are common in women. According to health statistics, one in five women has recurring urinary tract infections. Reasons for recurrence could be not in time adequate treatment or weakened immune system or re-infection.

Urinary tract is the pathway that makes up women renal system. It includes few important organs:

  • Bilateral kidneys which are responsible for filtering blood and generating body waste (urine);
  • Bilateral ureters (long tubes) which transport urine from kidneys to bladder;
  • Bladder which is responsible for urine collection and store;
  • Urethra (short tube) that carries urine from bladder to outside.

Urinary tract infections can affect different parts of urinary system. In general, urinary tract infections mean bacterial intervention into urinary system. Commonly bacteria enter the urinary system through the female urethra, move to bladder, multiply in the bladder and can move up to kidneys.

According to health experts, urinary tract infection (UTI) can be considered recurrent in women who had adequately treated but after some time UTI symptoms return back. Special attention should be paid to women who had more than 2 UTI episodes in 6 months or more than 3 UTI during one year.

Recurrent urinary tract infections – causes

Women are more likely to have recurrent UTI because of the location of female urethra in relation to rectum and because women have shorter urethra compared with men – making it easier for bacteria to reach the bladder, to multiply and move up.

Anatomy of female urinary tract is in close proximity to anus which makes easier bacteria interventions.

Recurrent urinary tract infections – symptoms

Recurrent urinary tract infections

Recurrent urinary tract infections

  • Frequent urination with pain or burning sensation,
  • Urine color changes (dark, bloody),
  • Lower back pain (kidneys pain),
  • Pain in lower abdominal zone (bladder pain),
  • Nausea and/or vomiting,
  • Fever with chills,
  • Fatigue, emotional discomfort, weakness.

Recurrent urinary tract infections – risk factors

  • Vaginal douching,
  • Vaginal contraception (diaphragm, spermicides),
  • Long-term use of antibiotics,
  • Menopause and postmenopause,
  • Immune insufficiency.

Recurrent urinary tract infections – diagnosis

Diagnosis is pretty easy. Laboratory urine tests can demonstrate several details of urinary tract infections. X-rays and kidney scanning is also important.
In some cases cystoscopy can be recommended.

Recurrent urinary tract infections – prognosis

Recurrent urinary tract infections are very uncomfortable, painful and troublesome. Regular treatments can reduce the frequency of symptoms or provide long remission. Women with recurrent UTI should control properly personal hygiene, daily diet and useless use of antibiotics. Early treatments can decrease risks for recurrence.

Recurrent urinary tract infections – prevention

Increase daily use of water and liquids (cranberry juice is recommended) which will flush bacteria out of renal system;

Avoid long-term use of antibiotics which develop resistance to most medications;

Avoid vaginal estrogen replacement therapy during menopause;

Don’t keep bladder full and urinate as often as needed;

Wear natural cotton underwear and avoid tight cloths (pans, jeans, shorts);

Avoid vaginal contraception (diaphragms and spermicides).

Recurrent urinary tract infections – treatment

Adequate in-time medical treatment should be organized by qualified doctors. Some natural remedies can be used for support or replacement of certain medications.


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