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Why Do I Have UTIs So Frequently?

If you’ve experienced urinary tract infections (UTIs) and can’t seem to stop them from coming back, you’re probably looking for professional relief. 

UTIs cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms including burning, pain, bloody urine, and a frequent urge to urinate. Over-the-counter medicines can only go so far in providing relief, but a medical provider can do more. 

At Urology Associates Medical Group in Burbank, California, our providers have years of experience diagnosing and treating UTIs in men and women, including recurrent UTIs. Keep reading to learn about the risk factors for recurrent UTIs and how we can help you treat them. 

What exactly is a UTI?

The bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli) causes over 90% of UTI cases. E. coli naturally lives in your intestines, but when it gets into your urinary system, it causes an infection with uncomfortable symptoms, including:

These symptoms are frustrating and painful, but the real danger of UTIs is that if they aren’t treated, the infection can spread to other organs, like your kidneys, and cause serious problems.

What are the risk factors for chronic UTIs?

For men and women, having two or more medically diagnosed UTIs within six months means you have chronic (recurrent) UTIs. Some factors that increase your risk for chronic UTIs include:

Additionally, women have a greater risk of getting UTIs than men, and 25% of women get recurring UTIs. Women’s urethras are shorter and closer to the anus, making it easier for bacteria to get into the urinary tract system. 

For women, the chances of getting chronic UTIs increase when you don’t urinate after sex or wipe from front to back after using the toilet. Your chances also increase if you use vaginal douches or scented feminine washes or sanitary products.

For men, an enlarged prostate or other structural issue increases your risk of getting a UTI.

How can I prevent UTIs?

In general, UTIs are very treatable, and most go away with a course of oral antibiotics. In some cases, a short course (3-7 days) of antibiotics is not enough to stop UTIs from returning. 

Let us know if you have recurring UTIs. Sometimes a low-dose, long-term (6-24 months) course of antibiotics is necessary to break the UTI cycle. For some women, we may recommend a single-dose antibiotic every time after sex.

Other than antibiotics, making key changes to your lifestyle is essential to prevent future UTIs. We may recommend one or a combination of these tips:

Also, women should wipe front to back after urinating, use unscented feminine hygiene products, and shower instead of taking a bath.

Spermicides and condoms are linked to recurrent UTIs, so talk to us about alternative options. 

To find out more about preventing recurrent UTIs, schedule an appointment with us at Urological Associates Medical Group in Burbank, California, today.

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