Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections - Treatment

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Many women suffer from frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs). Nearly 20 percent of women who have a UTI will have another, and 30 percent of those will have yet another. Of these, 80 percent will have recurrences.

It is important that UTIs be documented with a lab test. Sometimes recurrent UTIs are actually persistent UTIs that have not been properly treated. Symptoms of UTI include:

  • Strong, persistent urge to urinate small volumes of urine
  • Burning sensation with urination
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Cloudy urine
  • Bladder or pelvic discomfort or pressure
  • Low-grade fever
  • Blood in urine
  • Pain in the back or side
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • High-grade fever, chills

We will conduct tests to look for structural and functional abnormalities in the kidney or bladder, including obstructions, stones and vesicoureteral reflux (urine goes back into the kidneys instead of emptying from the urethra). They include renal and bladder ultrasound, cystoscopy, postvoid residual measurement of urine remaining in the bladder, and voiding cystourethrogram. A voiding cystourethrogram is an X-ray in which dye is instilled into the bladder through a catheter and the picture is taken while you are actually going to the bathroom; this allows us to determine if urine refluxes into the kidneys during voiding.

If no specific cause is found, treatment may include prophylactic antibiotics, either daily or just after intercourse. It is important to drink plenty of fluids to dilute your urine and minimize the effect of harmful bacteria. You should also avoid bladder irritants like coffee, caffeine, citrus, acidic and spicy foods and beverages and alcohol. Proper vaginal care and wiping from front to back also can minimize UTIs.

Appointments within one week

Bala Cynwyd 610.667.3020  *  Jeanes Hospital 215.745.4130  *  Hahnemann Hospital 215.762.3200