Complications Of Urinary Tract Infections
Delayed treatment for UTIs can lead to complications. Most UTIs cause no lasting damage if they are treated quickly. But if left untreated, UTIs can lead to complications that include:
- Recurring infections
- Narrowing of the urethra in men
- A potentially life-threatening infection called sepsis, especially when kidneys are infected
Diagnose Your Uti Head To The Doctor
Suspect you have a UTI? A good idea is to find an OTC UTI test that you can take in the convenience of your own home. These UTI tests will give you fast results, and help your doctor make a quicker decision on whether or not antibiotics are necessary to treat your UTI, if that is the case. If you dont have an OTC UTI test available, head straight to the doctors office! Theres a chance your doctor will want you to have a full pelvic exam to check for other infections, because UTI and sexually transmitted infection symptoms are sometimes similar. Either way, its better to be safe than sorry! Be sure to use your at home test kit before taking any urinary pain relievers to avoid inaccurate results.
How Am I Since Completing My Uti Recovery
I still have that counter. At the time I write this, I am 625 days UTI free. But its no longer important. I keep it as a memento of what I went through, and what it took to get past it.
UPDATE 2020: My counter is now at 1701 days since I overcame my experience with chronic UTI. The regimen that I implemented at the beginning of this journey resulted in a long term remission from UTIs. I say remission because I know it will always be possible for me to get another UTI. My urinary tract isnt impervious to bacteria, just as my sinus isnt impervious to a cold or flu. But, I was able to stop taking all the supplements I started, and continue only with basic vitamins that proved essential due to my particular diet. I have never again experienced the ongoing pain and symptoms I experienced then . I do have a story about food poisoning in Asia that led to urinary tract symptoms, but thats for another time .
Don’t Miss: Is There An Antibiotic Nasal Spray
Prevention Of Urinary Tract Infection
There are several steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting a UTI:
- Drink plenty of water and other liquids to help flush out bacteria.
- Urinate frequently, or about every two to three hours.
- For women: Wipe from front to back after urinating or having a bowel movement.
- Urinate before and soon after having sexual intercourse.
- Avoid synthetic underwear, tight pants, and lingering in wet gym clothes or a bathing suit. Though none of this can cause a UTI, these habits can increase the spread of bacteria.
- Avoid vaginal deodorants, douches, powders, and other potentially irritating feminine products.
- Use a method of birth control other than a diaphragm, spermicide, or unlubricated condoms.
Bacteria Hide In Your Bladder Lining
One interesting fact from Dr. Hawes: during bladder cystoscopy of chronic UTI patients she frequently sees pimples on their bladder surface. The correct medical term is Cystitis cystica, which is a benign lesion of the bladder as a result of chronic inflammation.
These pimples are thought to be caused by chronic irritation of the urothelium because of infection, calculi, obstruction, or tumor.
Per Dr. Hawes, a biopsy of these pimples typically comes back with results of bacterial contamination. Basically, bacteria comfortably reside inside of these pimples on a bladder wall. The worst thing, they can reappear from time to time to cause yet another infection. Thats why you notice that UTI symptoms come back after antibiotics.
If thats the case, Dr. Hawes identifies the type of bacteria via a culture test and which antibiotic bacteria are susceptive to. After that, she combines short-term intensive antibiotic therapy with long-term low dose antibiotics. This normally kills bacteria that keep reappearing out of the cysts into your bladder.
Many thanks to Dr. Lisa Hawes who took the time off her weekend to share these insights. We hope this information will help you when discussing a treatment plan with your urologist. And if you are happened to be in Maryland, here is the contact information for Dr. Hawes practice.
Also Check: Does Urgent Care Prescribe Antibiotics
Uti Gone Get The Green Light From The Doctor
Great, you have been taking your antibiotics regularly as prescribed and finally finished your UTI treatmentnow what? Head back to the docs office! Youll have to take another pee test to make sure youre officially rid of that awful UTI. Never assume your urinary tract infection magically vanished on its own, because bacteria is sticky, and isnt easily removed from the urinary tract. Better yet, head to the store to pick up a cranberry supplement, they help flush the urinary tract!
Make sure to get the proper treatment for a UTI from your doc, and once you know your UTI is gone, take cranberry to help maintain a healthy urinary tract.
Option #: After Antibiotics Uti Symptoms Still Linger Maybe Its Not A Uti
Unfortunately, this scenario happens way too often: you have had many well-diagnosed UTIs in the past, so when you complained of UTI-like symptoms, your doctor prescribed you antibiotics right away.
Sometimes, after you take antibiotics you could even feel better but then you notice that some symptoms still remained. This could be confusing, especially if antibiotics did bring you a slight relief.
Per Dr. Hawes, if you never had blood in your urine, cloudy urine, or funny smelling urine in the first place, if your only symptoms were bladder pain and slight burning with urination, then chances are high that it was not a UTI.
As Dr. Lisa Hawes explains After multiple UTIs, the bladder lining is damaged and inflamed. When the protective GAG bladder layer is damaged, the acidic urine can easily irritate the bladder and cause pain.
If you noticed that drinking lots of water help with your condition, it is because you are simply diluting the urine and making it less irritating to your bladder walls.
Medications and supplements that help to coat the lining of the bladder could greatly reduce these symptoms.
Don’t Miss: Can I Breastfeed On Antibiotics
When Utis Become A System For Measuring Time
My life started to become broken into modules, based on UTIs.
Like, Which trip was that? Oh the one where I had the UTI when we were camping and I had to keep going outside in the cold to pee near that weird herd of sheep.
Or, Was that March or April? It must have been March, because I had that UTI at the same time as food poisoning and it was my sisters birthday and I had to call her between vomiting and peeing blood.
I know its gruesome, but thats exactly what I want to illustrate. Just how recurrent urinary tract infections can become an everyday thing. Even though they hurt just as much, every single time and can be truly debilitating.
Treatment From A Gp For Utis That Keep Coming Back
If your UTI comes back after treatment, or you have 2 UTIs in 6 months, a GP may:
- prescribe a different antibiotic or prescribe a low-dose antibiotic to take for up to 6 months
- prescribe a vaginal cream containing oestrogen, if you have gone through the menopause
- refer you to a specialist for further tests and treatments
In some people, antibiotics do not work or urine tests do not pick up an infection, even though you have UTI symptoms.
This may mean you have a long-term UTI that is not picked up by current urine tests. Ask the GP for a referral to a specialist for further tests and treatments.
Long-term UTIs are linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer in people aged 60 and over.
Read Also: Where Can I Buy Antibiotics For Cats
When Uti Treatment Is Necessary
If youre experiencing multiple symptoms of a UTI and we have confirmed that you have abnormal bacteria growth in the urinary tract, antibiotics usually are the most effective way to fight off the bacteria. The dosage and type of antibiotics you take depend on the severity of your infection. Make sure to speak to your doctor about your particular situation and what medication would be best for you.
If youre experiencing recurrent UTIs , your doctor will likely suggest you undergo screenings to identify any potential abnormalities in the body that could be contributing to your UTIs. One such screening is a cystoscopy, in which a doctor uses a thin tube called a cystoscope to examine your urethra and the lining of your bladder.
Alternative Uti Test Methods You Could Try
We cannot reiterate enough No evidence of infection is not the same thing as evidence of no infection.
Or, to put it in a less mind-bending phrase just because your UTI test comes back negative, it does not mean you do not have an infection.
There ARE other testing options available, ranging from a modified urine culture test, right up to high tech genetic sequencing methods like those described below.
Check out our expert video series to learn more about how standard urine cultures are misleading and can lead to an inaccurate diagnosis.
|Theres an old expression, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck. Itâs gotta be a duck. And so to have somebody who has pain, urgency, frequency and burning, and yet theyâre told they donât have an infection because a urine culture was negative, who do you believe? Are you treating a lab result? Or are you treating a person?
If you feel you have exhausted your current options and you are still experiencing symptoms that impact your life, it could be time to learn more about how to move forward.
A number of researchers, specialists and doctors in various countries have developed more comprehensive approaches to conditions such as recurrent UTI, chronic cystitis and Interstitial Cystitis.
Thanks to their efforts, there are a few alternative testing options you may wish to consider.
You May Like: How Long After Antibiotics Does Birth Control Work
What Are The Symptoms Of Chronic Uti
When a UTI recurs, your discomfort may persist even after medical treatment. This condition is characterized by frequent and/or painful urination, blood in the urine and pain or pressure in the bladder and kidneys. You may leak a small amount of urine, have trouble urinating even if you feel the need to go or notice that your urine looks cloudy or has an unpleasant smell. Recurrent UTI is defined as three or more infections within six months.
Seek immediate medical attention if you develop a fever higher than 101°F, confusion or disorientation, fatigue, chills or uncontrolled nausea and vomiting. These signs indicate that the infection has spread to the kidneys, which causes serious illness. In women who are pregnant, chronic UTI can increase the risk of having a premature birth.
What Does It Mean If Your Uti Symptoms Are Getting Worse Even Though Youve Already Taken Four Or Six Antibiotic Pills
Does this mean you dont have a urinary tract infection after all, but some other condition?
And is it just a coincidence that the urinalysis showed trace amounts of bacteria and leukocyte esterase?
UTIs may get worse while taking an antibiotic for several reasons, says Michael Ingber, MD, board certified in urology, female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery, and founder of The Center for Specialized Womens Health, division of Garden State Urology.
First, it does take some time, typically several hours, before the antibiotic is absorbed into the system and before it gets into the bladder, continues Dr. Ingber.
Second, the antibiotic sometimes may not be effective. In cases of resistant UTI, symptoms may worsen.
This is why, typically, I instruct women to contact me should their symptoms persist or worsen after 2-3 doses of the antibiotic.
Thus, no improvement after only one day is nothing to fret about.
Don’t Miss: Any Over The Counter Antibiotics
I Still Have A Uti After Finishing A Course Of Antibiotics Why Didn’t Drug Kill It All Off
I’m 25 and not sexually active. After having a burning discomfort down there and lower back pains that my doctors were ignoring for weeks to months they finally did a test and discovered I had a UTI. I was put in Macrobid/ nitrofutonin 100mg 1 pill twice a day for 5 days. I took the medicine EXACTLY as prescribed. I was drinking both cranberry juice and water to flush it out completely. I did notice an immediate difference in the pain when I was taking the antibiotics. However, by the 4th day of treatment I noticed My infection stopped responding to the antibiotics. So I just assumed maybe it’s residual burning and irritation from having a UTI for awhile. Plus I thought once I finish the course maybe it needed time to kick in so waited a few weeks to see if there would be difference.
1 like, 114 replies
Posted 6 years ago
You may need a different antibiotic. I, too, was on the nitrofutonin, and it didn’t get rid of it. The dr. prescribed Amoxicil which took care of it. In the past, I have also been prescribed Cipro which would knock it out fast. The last infection i had which was about 2 months ago, was really hard to get over. I ended up having an ultrasound/ cystoscopy which were normal. The symptoms remained yet no infection. My urologist seems to believe I may have had an allergic reaction to the lubricant used f/ my pap smear. I am just now beginning to feel better.
What Is The Treatment For A Uti
Antibiotics are considered the “gold standard” for UTI treatment, according to a 2019 article published in Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, and it’s always a good idea to get symptoms of a UTI checked out by your healthcare provider.
Healthcare providers often give people who show up with UTI symptoms a prescription for antibiotics that they think will kill the pathogen. They’ll also take a urine sample to see what’s going on. Once the lab results come back , the healthcare provider may switch you to another antibiotic that’s better at killing the particular bacteria responsible for your infection.
“Antibiotics will hasten the cure of the infection. Most of the time, you’ll have symptomatic improvement within 36 hours,” said Dr. Moore.
That means that once you’ve been prescribed the right medication for the bacteria behind your UTI, you’ll feel better but that’s different than being “cured.” Even if you’re no longer feeling a constant, urgent need to pee , the bacteria that caused it could still be lingering around, said Dr. Moore.
You’ll usually need to take antibiotics for between three to five days total before the UTI is completely cleared up, Dr. Moore pointed out.
And while it’s tempting to stop taking your meds the moment you feel better, finishing the antibiotics as prescribed is super important.
Don’t Miss: Can Strep Throat Antibiotics Cure Chlamydia
Can Urinary Tract Infections Be Prevented Or Avoided
There are many lifestyle choices that can help you prevent UTIs. These are some of the things you can do to protect yourself from them:
- Drink plenty of water to flush out bacteria. For some people, drinking cranberry juice may also help prevent urinary tract infections. However, if youre taking warfarin, check with your doctor before using cranberry juice to prevent urinary tract infections. Your doctor may need to adjust your warfarin dose or you may need to have more frequent blood tests.
- Dont hold your urine. Urinate when you feel like you need to. Some children dont go to the bathroom often enough. If your child does this, teach him or her to go to the bathroom several times each day.
- Wipe from front to back after bowel movements. Teach your child to wipe correctly.
- Urinate after having sex to help wash away bacteria.
- Use enough lubrication during sex. Try using a small amount of lubricant before sex if youre a little dry.
- If you get urinary tract infections often, you may want to avoid using a diaphragm as a birth control method. Ask your doctor about other birth control choices.
- Avoid taking or giving your child bubble baths.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing , and dress your child in loose-fitting clothing.
- If you are uncircumcised, wash the foreskin regularly. If you have an uncircumcised boy, teach him how to wash his foreskin.
Im Pregnant How Will A Uti Affect My Baby
If you have a UTI and it isnt treated, it may lead to a kidney infection. Kidney infections may cause early labor. Fortunately, asymptomatic bacteriuria and bladder infections are usually found and treated before the kidneys become infected. If your doctor treats a urinary tract infection early and properly, it wont hurt your baby.
Read Also: How To Restore Probiotics After Antibiotics
How Standard Uti Testing Failed Me
I started researching and bringing information to my doctor about other organisms I wanted to test my urine for. He was happy to comply. He didnt know what else to do to help me. Significantly though, he did believe that I had an infection.
Still the results were unhelpful. Specific organisms were not found. But other signs of infection were.
I was completely uninformed about testing, and why it wasnt helping me figure this out.
Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections Hindsight Tip #2:
Ive since learned that standard UTI testing is very inaccurate. Many studies have proven that standard urine culturing techniques fail to identify infection in at least 50% of cases.
If you have received inconclusive or negative test results despite your symptoms, or if your treatment does not seem to work as it should, inaccurate testing could be the issue.
I encourage you to learn more about this issue, so you can take control of the situation and seek better care.
There are 7 main reasons your UTI test results could be wrong, and Ive laid all these out for you , along with what you can do about it.