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Chronic UTI in Women

Chronic urinary tract infections are more common in women who have had at least three UTIs in the past. Of these women, 80% will have a recurrence within 18 months of the last occurrence. Unfortunately, many women have them sooner.

Chronic UTI is defined as having three or more infections per year. Antibiotics are usually the treatment for chronic UTIs. The following protocols are options to discuss with your doctor:
  • A University of Washington study has shown that a low dose daily regimen of such antibiotics as TMP/SMZ or nitrofurantoin taken long term (six months or longer) to be effective in treating chronic UTIs with no serious side effects. This study was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
  • Profolactic single dose of antibiotics after intercourse is another option.
  • Finally, your doctor may recommend taking a short course of antibiotics for the first 24 to 48 hours after symptoms first occur instead of the usual full course.
Here are some things to try at home to help prevent chronic UTIs:
  • Flood it! Drink plenty of water each day. Recommended daily water intake is 48 to 64 ounces.
  • Gotta go! Urinate when your bladder tells you it is time. Don't put it off. If you drink the recommended amount of water daily, you should have to go regularly.
  • Front line first! Be sure to wipe from front to back when using the bathroom or cleansing the genital area. This helps keep bacteria from the anal area from contaminating the urethra and vagina.
  • Keep it clean! Before engaging in sexual intercourse, gently clean your genital area.
  • Don't sit down on the job! A nice long soak may be relaxing, but recurrent UTIs are more common in those who take tub baths. Take a shower instead.
  • Fresh as a daisy! Skip the scented soaps, feminine sprays and douches. These have been shown to irritate the urethra.
Additionally, Dr. Aguirre recommends drinking cranberry juice.

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Dr. Aguirre
Dr. Aguirre is the Director of Aguirre Specialty Care, The Center for Female Pelvic Medicine. Dr. Aguirre is also a member of the Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation Institute of America.
The Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation Institute of America is founded and directed by Dr. David L. Matlock.

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