Recurrent UTIs Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Treatment – WI Urologists | Urology Associates

Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections

The urologists at Urology Associates provide treatment and suggestions for lifestyle changes for women experiencing chronic urinary tract infections. Bacteria are the cause of chronic, or recurrent, urinary tract infections. However, you can work with your urologist to develop a plan to avoid them. We will prescribe antibiotics and give lifestyle changes to prevent further urinary tract infections.

Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI) refers to having 2 or more infections in six months or 3 infections in one year. Over 50% of women will have at least one UTI in their lifetime. By the time women reach age 30, approximately 25% of women have experienced symptoms of UTI. 

Risk Factors

  • Diabetes is a predisposing risk factor
  • Sexual intercourse
  • Atrophic urethritis and vaginitis
  • Abnormalities of urinary tracts for example; indwelling catheter, neuropathic bladder, anatomical anomalies
  • Incomplete bladder emptying
  • Contraception; diaphragm
  • Spermicide-coated condoms
  • History of urinary tract surgery
  • Immunocompromised
  • First UTI before age of 15
  • History of UTI in mother

Signs May Include:

  • Suprapubic tenderness.
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine.
  • In the elderly, incontinence, confusion, anorexia, fever, shock.

UTI Symptoms:

  • Burning urination
  • Frequent urination
  • Pain in back or lower abdomen
  • Pain and or burning when on urination
  • An urge to urinate right away and often
  • Only being able to urinate small amounts of urine at a time
  • Pain in lower abdomen over the bladder, above the pubic bone
  • Low back pain

Epidemiology of UTIs

Recurrent uncomplicated UTIs are common among young, healthy women despite having normal anatomy and physiology of the urinary tracts. If the first infection is caused by the organism Escherichia coli, women are more likely to develop a second UTI within six months compared to those with a first UTI due to another organism.

How We Diagnose UTIs

  • Urine sample: This is the first routine test that will be completed to evaluate for a UTI
  • Cystoscopy
  • CT scan or MRI

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