When urinary tract infections occur repeatedly, it can happen because of two reasons. First, the treatment or the medication has become unresponsive to the condition, and second, because the UTI has become of a recurring nature.
UTIs that are of recurring nature can continue to affect the urinary tract even after it gets a corrective treatment and is completely healed. It can affect any part of the system. When the infection affects only the bladder, it causes minor troubles and can be treated easily. However, if the infection spreads towards the kidneys, serious health conditions can be triggered. Consult the best gynecologist at Pristyn Care for treatment of Urinary Tract Infections.
Why do some women get recurrent UTIs?
Urinary tract infections are generally caused by E.coli, a bacterium that lives in the intestines of the body. If E.coli travels from the rectum towards the vagina, it can enter the urethra, that is the tube which carries urine from the bladder, it causes infections in the bladder.
Risk factors related to UTI vary with the age of the patient. If a urinary tract infection is experienced before menopause, one of the most common risk factors that can be experienced is sexual intercourse and use of spermicides. It’s a belief that sexual intercourse increases the number of bacteria in the bladder and many medical experts suggest women to urinate after an intercourse so that they can flush out these bacteria. Spermicides kill od lactobacilli and the beneficial bacteria in the vagina, which makes it easier for E.coli to migrate towards it.
In the postmenopausal phase, the other physical changes happening in the body set the stage for UTIs as well. The number of lactobacilli in the body starts to decrease naturally, and the bladder also contracts less strongly as it used to before which makes it harder to empty it out completely.
How to prevent UTIs?
- Change your urination habits: The way one urinates plays a big role in getting rid of bacteria in the body. Urine is a waste product and every time you empty your bladder, you are removing that waste from your body. Frequent urination can reduce the risk of developing an infection, especially if you have had a history of UTIs. Drinking 7 to 10 glasses of water per day also lowers this risk because it flushes out the bacteria in your urinary tract. But some fluids can trigger the growth of harmful bacteria. Caffeinated drinks, citrus juices, alcohol or spicy foods are some examples for this.
One should always try to urinate immediately after a sexual intercourse. This can help by eliminating any bacteria that may have been introduced during the intercourse. The genital area should also be washed by warm water after having sex.
- Maintain proper hygiene: UTIs can be often prevented if good personal hygiene has followed. This is the case especially in women. The urethra in women is a lot shorter than it is in men, so it is easier for E.coli to move from the rectum towards the vagina. To avoid this, it is recommended that a woman always wipes from front to back after a bowel movement and uses good hygiene products especially during her menstrual cycle to avoid infections. Pads and tampons should be changed frequently and female deodorant should not be used in order to prevent UTIs.
- Drink lots of fluids: Adding extra fluid to your diet helps you remove the extra bacteria from your urinary tract. If you drink six to eight glasses of water per day, there is a chance that you would not contract an infection in your urinary tract.
- Avoid tight clothing: Tight and congested clothing can help the bacteria around the urinary tract in thriving. You should switch to more comfortable and looser fitting outfits and cotton underwear. This will help prevent the extra moisture from getting trapped up inside the urethra.
- Prefer a water based lubricant: If you use a lubricant during sex because of vaginal dryness, prefer one which is water-based. In case you suffer from UTIs frequently, you may also have to avoid vaginall spermicides.
Treatment for recurrent urinary tract infections
There are a number of antibiotics which can be prescribed by doctors after the UTIs have been diagnosed. These are basically for the primary treatment of the infection. However, if the UTI has become of a recurring nature, a long-term medication course, which lasts for more than a week and a low dose medication may be suggested.
Timely treatment of urinary tract infections helps in its prevention in the future as well. Along with the antibiotics the gynecologist can also suggest women to watch over their urinary system more closely, maintain intimate hygiene and urinate after sex immediately. Women who suffer from recurrent urinary tract infections can also be suggested urine tests on a regular basis to check for infection.
After menopause, women may be suggested vagina and estrogen therapy as it can help reduce the risk of future UTIs.
Infections of the urinary tract are very uncomfortable and can stand in the way of your daily activities. Recurring urinary tract infections can only be cured by proper, prolonged medication.
One should always be on a lookout for the symptoms after having a urinary tract infection once, because they usually appear again. Women who have suffered from UTS should keep a close watch on their bodies and get immediate medical help if they start experiencing the symptoms of urinary tract infections again. Early treatment can help reduce the risk of more serious long-term complications in your body.
Hemant Kumar is a project manager at Tridindia with more than nine years of commendable experience in writing about LMS, translation, and IT. His unmatched talent and passion for digital marketing gave him the opportunity to work as a multi-tasking project manager at TridIndia’s sister company, Link Building Corp. Today, he contributes to the world by imparting knowledge on SEO, link building and internet marketing etc., that helps business owners grow their online business.