What Can I Do About Chronic UTIs?

Just having a urinary tract infection (UTI) is bad enough, but when it’s seemingly never-ending, things just get infinitely worse. Chronic UTIs can become more than just an inconvenience when you’re repeatedly dealing with the same infection. Even when you’re treated with antibiotics, persistent UTIs can pop up.

Dr. Mark Schumacher and his team here in Reno, Nevada, are ready to help you beat the recurring hassle of chronic UTIs.  Dr. Schumacher is a board-certified OB/GYN who has the knowledge and skills to help take care of all your gynecological needs.

Sometimes, there’s an underlying condition that makes you more susceptible to infection, but some people are simply genetically more likely to suffer from this issue. As with many illnesses, pinpointing the reason for your chronic UTIs may be helpful for successful treatment. Here’s what you need to know about the condition.

The background on UTIs

Any time that a portion of your urinary tract becomes infected, the condition falls under the banner of a UTI. However, there are different types of UTIs, usually defined by the parts of the system affected. The most common UTIs hit the urethra and bladder, but it may reach the kidneys if not treated.

Transfers of E. coli from the digestive tract is often the reason behind common UTIs. The proximity of the urinary tract to the anus varies between women, so you may be more susceptible to bacterial transfer simply because of the shape of your body.

Intercourse is a common way to introduce bacteria into the urethra, so sexually transmitted infections can also cause urethritis, the infection of the urethra. Changes in hormone balance may also contribute, so you may see more UTIs after menopause.

Chronic UTIs are diagnosed when you have two or more infections that are confirmed by lab tests within a six-month span.

Treating chronic UTIs

When short courses of antibiotics prove ineffective with recurring infections, a long-term, low-dose antibiotic may be used to break the cycle. These treatments can range between six months and two years. 

Vaginal estrogen therapy is an alternative if infections started for you after menopause. Single-dose antibiotics, administered after intercourse, can block UTIs that are transferred through sexual contact.

Lifestyle changes

There are self-care tips you can try to either ease the discomfort when a UTI hits or to improve your long-term resistance to re-infection. While there’s no conclusive evidence to whether these self-care options produce consistent and widespread results, none of the following have negative side effects, so you can test these to see if they help you:

Accurate identification of your case is the key to effective treatment, so call our Reno, Nevada, office today to arrange your consultation. 

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