What Can I Do About Chronic UTIs?

Nov 02, 2023
What Can I Do About Chronic UTIs?
If you’re experiencing chronic UTIs, you know how much of an interruption to your life they can be. Read on to find out why you may be getting them — and what you can do about it.

According to the Urology Care Foundation, more than eight million visits to the doctor each year come courtesy of urinary tract infections, or UTIs.

The urinary tract is the pathway that makes up your urinary system, including your kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Infections in this tract are fairly common and are usually cleared up with antibiotics.

In some cases, though, the UTI continues to recur in your body over and over. These chronic UTIs can cause major problems. Here’s what the team at Voss Family Clinic recommends you should do if you’re facing chronic UTIs.

What are UTIs?

A UTI is the result of a bacterial infection somewhere in the urinary system, which includes:

  • Kidneys: filter your blood and generate urine
  • Ureters: tubes that carry the urine from your kidneys to your bladder
  • Bladder: collects and stores urine
  • Urethra: tube that sends urine outside the body from the bladder

UTIs can affect any part of this system. If a UTI affects only your bladder, it’s usually fairly minor. If the infection is in your kidneys, it’s more serious.

Symptoms include frequent urination, bloody or dark urine, a burning sensation, and pain in your kidneys or bladder.

What causes chronic UTIs?

Treatment for UTIs is usually a course of antibiotics. In some cases, though, the infection doesn’t respond to the treatment, or it clears up but then keeps recurring.

The bacteria usually enter your system through the urethra and then multiply. Women are more at risk for chronic UTIs than men for two reasons. First, the urethra is close to the rectum, so it’s easy for bacteria from the rectum to reach the urethra. Second, a woman’s urethra is shorter than a man’s, so it’s easier for bacteria to get to the bladder, where they can multiply and cause more infection.

How are chronic UTIs treated?

Again, the primary treatment for UTIs is antibiotics, but if you’re dealing with chronic UTIs, your prescription will likely be a long-term, low-dose course that continues even after symptoms subside. Your doctor may also recommend you take antibiotics after each time you have intercourse (this is a common time when infections can occur).

You can also take preventive and natural measures to keep UTIs from recurring:

  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Drink cranberry juice
  • Wipe from front to back
  • Urinate immediately after intercourse

If you’re struggling with chronic UTIs, our team at Voss Family Clinic can help. Just call our Sugar Land, Texas office at 281-918-8759 or use our online scheduler to book an appointment today!