How do I prevent recurring UTI?
I’m a 26 years old female. I get 3 urinary tract infections every year. How can I prevent recurrent UTIs?
Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI) can be fairly common in women. Reducing the risk of recurrent UTIs may involve identification of triggers and risk factors and avoidance.
Specific risk factors include sexual intercourse. This is why voiding (going to pass urine) immediately after intercourse is recommended. Also, do avoid spermicide use.
Increasing your fluid intake and not holding your urine for long periods of time is also recommended. Some (but not superbly strong) research has also demonstrated that cranberry juice may help to reduce the risk of E. coli (a type of bacteria) related UTIs.
If you have recurrent, frequent UTIs (>3x per year) despite these measures, you may potentially be a candidate for suppressive antibiotics taken on a regular basis to prevent these infections and may wish to speak to your doctor further about this.
Very rarely, there may be more serious underlying causes (e.g. structural abnormalities, abnormal connections between organs that should not exist) for your persistent UTIs so it is important to get a thorough evaluation if this has been an issue for you.
Hi, Ms Breth
While it is not uncommon for females to get UTIs, to get 3 UTIs per year may be of concern not to mention the discomfort that can be disruptive to your life.
Recurrent UTIs in females especially if you have at least 2 episodes within 6 months warrant further evaluation with your doctor.
Common causes of recurrent UTIs:
1) Hygiene - due to the proximity of the urethra and the rectum in females and also that the urethra in females are shorter, it is much easier for females to get UTI. Thus, the advise I usu give to females is to ensure that when you are wiping after passing urine to always wipe from the front to the back and not the other way.
2) Dehydration and holding urine for prolong periods of time - Sometimes when we get busy we tend to drink less water and thus we have lesser frequency of passing urine. This increases the risk of UTIs. Also try not to hold your urine in your bladder for prolong periods of time as this can also increase the risk of UTIs.
3) Abnormality of the urinary system - Sometimes due to structural abnormalities in the urinary system , i.e kidneys, ureters (brings urine form kidneys to the bladder), urethra (bring urine from bladder to the outside) may be the cause of recurrent UTIs. This should be evaluated via ultrasound or sometimes CT scan of the urinary system if your doctor believes there may be abnormalities. Sometimes, recurrent UTIs can also be caused by backflow of urine due to problems in the valves in the ureters.
Thus I would recommend that you should see your doctor for further evaluation of frequent recurrent UTIs.