A UTI is an infection in any part of your urinary tract. Having one UTI is painful enough, but having them come back can be quite frustrating. If you get three or more of these infections within a year, this recurrence is known as chronic. However, the reasons you may be getting recurring UTIs might surprise you. Time to find out why and what to do about it.
Unpleasant Symptoms Of A UTI
Usually the first sign that something is amiss is a burning sensation when you urinate. Many times you rush to the bathroom only to discover you have urinated very little. Your urine can be cloudy, red, pink, or brown, and many times it has an unpleasant odor. In addition, there will be pain right near your pelvic bone.
The infection itself can be located in your urethra where urine is eliminated, and where bacteria from your bowels is supposed to be flushed out. Sometimes the infection can stay in the urethra or in the bladder.
If a UTI is not treated quickly, it can spread to your kidneys. When that occurs, you will experience a high fever, vomiting, chills, nausea, and pain in your upper abdomen.
Reasons For Recurring UTIs
Being A Woman
Sorry ladies, here is another problem we don’t share with the opposite sex. Our vagina and urethra are dangerously close to our anus making it a simple hop, skip, and jump for bacteria to move from our intestines to our urethra.
This means you don’t empty your bladder completely when you urinate causing stagnant urine.
This could be due to the following issues:
- Diabetes damages the nerves in the bladder reducing the sensation that you need to urinate and to completely empty your bladder. In addition, bacteria feeds on the extra blood sugar in your system.
- A weakened immune system makes you more susceptible to infections.
- A spinal cord injury or nerve damage near the bladder.
- A kidney stone blocking urine.
Being Sexually Active
Frequent sex and vaginal penetration causes bacteria to move around and end up in the wrong places leading to a UTI.
When A Woman Goes Through Menopause
Unfortunately, even as a woman gets older, she can still develop UTIs. During menopause there is a decline in the hormone estrogen which seems to cause a change in the urinary tract increasing the risk of a urinary tract infection.
Some people are just more prone to developing UTIs.
How To Avoid The Recurrence of UTIs
Drinking lots of water, urinating before and after sexual intercourse, and not waiting to urinate can all help reduce your incidence of urinary tract infections. Other remedies include wiping from front to back after urinating, wearing cotton underwear, and seeking treatment at the first sign of a UTI.
Contact Summit UroGynecology if you experience recurrent urinary tract infections. Double board-certified urogynecologist, Dr. Costas Apostolis will take the time to fully evaluate your symptoms in order to determine the treatment option that is right for you. Call (330) 953-3414 to request an appointment at our urogynecology office in Akron or Youngstown, OH.