How Prophylactic Antibiotics Are Taken
There are two main approaches to prophylactic antibiotics for recurrent UTI treatment:
Postcoital prophylaxis appears to have similar effectiveness but fewer side effects than continuous prophylaxis for preventing recurrent UTI. This is mainly because females on postcoital prophylaxis generally take fewer doses of the antibiotic.
A third type of UTI treatment often grouped with prophylactic options is acute self-treatment. This is a self-start approach where a patient is provided prescriptions for antibiotics, and can initiate their own standard 3-day course when they feel UTI symptoms coming on.
Acute self-treatment is recommended for 2 episodes of UTIs per year or for females who are not suitable candidates for longer term prophylaxis. Continuous or postcoital antibiotic prophylaxis are generally considered suitable for 3 episodes of UTIs each year.
Interestingly, studies into prophylactic antibiotics for recurrent UTI treatment have demonstrated that patients are highly accurate in diagnosing their own UTIs. So keep this in mind the next time you receive negative UTI test results if you think you have a UTI, its quite likely you do. The test is probably wrong, not your intuition.
How Can Parents Help
At home, these things can help prevent recurrent UTIs in kids:
Drinking Fluids Encourage kids to drink 810 glasses of water and other fluids each day. Cranberry juice and cranberry extract are often suggested because they may prevent E. coli from attaching to the walls of the bladder. Always ask your doctor, though, if your child should drink cranberry juice or cranberry extract, because they can affect some medicines.
Good Bathroom Habits Peeing often and preventing constipation can help to prevent recurrent infections.
No Bubble Baths Kids should avoid bubble baths and perfumed soaps because they can irritate the urethra.
Frequent Diaper Changes Kids in diapers should be changed often. If poop stays in the genital area for a long time, it can lead to bacteria moving up the urethra and into the bladder.
Proper Wiping Girls should wipe from front to back after using the toilet to reduce exposure of the urethra to UTI-causing bacteria in poop.
Cotton Underwear Breathable cotton underwear is less likely to encourage bacterial growth near the urethra than nylon or other fabrics.
Regular Bathroom Visits Some kids may not like to use the school bathroom or may become so engrossed in a project that they delay peeing. Kids with UTIs should pee at least every 3 to 4 hours to help flush bacteria from the urinary tract.
Other Uti Remedies And Treatment Options
While there are many studies aimed at measuring the effectiveness of different antibiotics for UTI treatment, there is very little solid research around non-antibiotic treatment of UTIs. Weve covered the most searched for UTI home remedies in detail in a separate article.
A number of researchers have questioned whether antibiotics should be the go-to for first-time uncomplicated urinary tract infections, suggesting they may be unnecessary in many cases.
Because diagnosis and treatment guidelines are based on evidence, and because natural remedies are rarely studied, they are not found within therapeutic guidelines, and your doctor is very unlikely to recommend them.
So what are the non-antibiotic treatment options for recurrent UTI?
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What Is A Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection refers to a condition that affects any portion of a persons urinary tract, such as the kidneys, urethra, or bladder. It typically affects women more often than men. This is because womens urethra is shorter than mens, making it easier for bacteria to travel up to the tract. Learn more about chronic / recurrent UTIs here.
Option #: Persistent Uti Symptoms After Treatment
Here is another option: they sent your urine sample to a lab and later told you that according to the test you have a UTI. However, antibiotics resolved some symptoms , but the urge to urinate or pain in the lower abdomen remained.
As you could imagine, there could be a scenario when not only you have a full-blown UTI, but also an inflamed bladder lining is causing additional symptoms, as discussed above.
In this case, you, most likely, will see a reduction in pain, and your urine will become clear. However, pain in the bladder area and slight irritation after urination might still linger.
Moreover, when patients mention they feel burning in the urethra rather than the bladder, its quite normal. In fact, the urethra has more nerve endings that could be easily irritated due to underlying inflammation.
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Recurrent Uti And Constant Yeast Infections
Frequent antibiotic use came with other side effects. The most obvious was yeast infections. Although this was a less painful experience than the UTIs, it was an even more constant companion.
Each time I took antibiotics, I would need to use over the counter antifungals. These would relieve the symptoms just long enough for the next UTI to take hold. This of course meant more antibiotics, then more antifungals.
Then more antibiotics, then more antifungals You get the picture.
It felt as though I was never not taking something. I felt completely out of control of the state of my body. I had no confidence in its ability to find a better balance.
The antibiotics and antifungals had destroyed any semblance of a healthy microbiome in all areas, including my digestive tract.
Eventually the effectiveness of the antibiotics and antifungals lessened, and I would have just a few hours respite before the UTI and yeast infections would return.
My UTI symptoms became constant at this point. I virtually had not a single moment where I wasnt aware of discomfort in my urinary tract. And discomfort is mostly putting it lightly.
I began to notice a link between digestive symptoms, yeast related symptoms and the frequency of UTI flare ups. There was hardly a moment that I felt symptom free. Id had enough, and I decided to take what felt like drastic action.
When Should Symptoms Disappear
The length of treatment for your symptoms will depend on the cause.
If your doctor confirms that you have a simple UTI, expect symptoms to disappear within 3-10 days. If your doctor says your UTI is more severe, it may take several weeks for the infection to clear and your symptoms to disappear.
If the cause of your symptoms is unrelated to a UTI, talk to your doctor about the recommended treatment plan and when you can expect your symptoms to disappear.
Regardless of the cause of your symptoms, if your doctor prescribes a course of antibiotics for the treatment of your symptoms, its important that you complete the full course of medication as directed.
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What Else Can You Do When Antibiotics Fail
When it comes to the best treatment for recurrent chronic UTIs there are two main camps.
Some physicians prefer a long-term antibiotic treatment protocol, frequently prescribing a variety of antibiotics over the course of several months .
Others advocate for the mindful use of antibiotics and focus on correcting underlying dysbiosis as the main reason for recurrent UTIs. In fact, we are still learning about the human microbiome and the effect bacteria have on our health and it seems less and less probable that antibiotics alone could solve chronic issues.
Moreover, antibiotics were developed when we thought that a healthy bladder is sterile which we now know is far from the truth.
What is the best approach to cure a chronic UTI? Here is a selection of posts that can help you to get up to speed:
Things You Can Do Yourself
To help ease pain:
- takeparacetamolup to 4 times a day to reduce pain and a high temperature for people with a UTI, paracetamol is usually recommended over NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or aspirin
- you can give childrenliquid paracetamol
- rest and drink enough fluids so you pass pale urine regularly during the day, especially during hot weather
It’s important to follow the instructions on the packet so you know how much paracetamol you or your child can take, and how often.
It may also help to avoid having sex until you feel better.
You cannot pass a UTI on to your partner, but sex may be uncomfortable.
Taking cystitis sachets or cranberry products has not been shown to help ease symptoms of UTIs.
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Can A Uti Cause Contractions During Pregnancy
Urinary tract infections are not associated with preterm labor, according to research published in the Journal of the Chinese Medical Association. However, if a urinary tract infection is left untreated, it can progress to a kidney infection. And a kidney infection during pregnancy can modestly increase your chances of early contractions and delivery. Research published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology notes that women diagnosed with acute pyelonephritis in pregnancy have a 10.3 percent chance of preterm delivery compared with the 7.9 percent chance among women without a kidney infection during pregnancy.
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A Doctor That Helped Me Turn Things Around
Not only did my new doctor believe yeast may have been at the heart of these symptoms, she also suspected it was causing my urinary symptoms. Testing confirmed that Candida was an issue in both my gut and vaginal microbiomes.
She managed to convince me, by sharing her own experiences, to go off the pill. This was terrifying to me at the time. I imagined the heavy periods returning, and all that came with that, including the possibility of babies.
But I was done making excuses for myself. I was ready to take control of my health.
The decision to stop taking medications seemed counterintuitive, but I was ready to try a different approach.
I neednt have worried. The process of changing my diet, and the other measures Ive mentioned below, resulted in a super regular and almost symptom-free menstrual cycle.
UPDATE: Although I felt the need to stop using antibiotics when I was recovering, Im not against using antibiotics and I have seen through our community that antibiotics can indeed be the right solution for many.
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Can A Shih Tzu Get An Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections are common in dogs, and are more frequent in older dogs ages 7 and up. Any dog breed can get a urinary tract infection, but breeds such as Shih Tzu, Bichon Frise, and Yorkshire Terriers are predisposed to urinary tract stones, a similar condition.
They were negative for both, however after 24 hours off antibiotics, sure enough I tested positive for leukolytes and a few bacteria at the dr. office. They didnt prescribe me anymore antibiotics until they culture it, which will take about 2 days. Has this happened, where as soon as you go off the antibiotics it starts coming back?
When Urinary Tract Infections Keep Coming Back
If you are prone to recurrent UTIs, you can head them off before they take hold.
Unless you’re in the fortunate minority of women who have never had a urinary tract infection , you know the symptoms well. You might feel a frequent urgency to urinate yet pass little urine when you go. Your urine might be cloudy, blood-tinged, and strong-smelling. For 25% to 30% of women who’ve had a urinary tract infection, the infection returns within six months.
If you have repeated UTIs, you’ve experienced the toll they take on your life. However, you may take some comfort in knowing that they aren’t likely to be the result of anything you’ve done. “Recurrent UTIs aren’t due to poor hygiene or something else that women have brought on themselves. Some women are just prone to UTIs,” says infectious diseases specialist Dr. Kalpana Gupta, a lecturer in medicine at Harvard Medical School.
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And It Won’t Hurt To Try These
Like many women, you may have memorized the following age-old advice for preventing UTIs:
Wipe from front to back.
Urinate before and after sex.
Drink lots of water.
Avoid tight underpants and jeans.
These suggestions are directed at flushing the bladder and keeping E. coli from spreading into the urinary tract. Although studies have failed to show that they prevent either primary or recurrent UTIs, there’s no harm in trying them, Dr. Gupta says. “They can’t hurt, and if they help, you’re ahead of the game.”
Can I Prevent Recurrent Utis
There are steps you can take to help reduce UTIs. The most basic is to drink plenty of fluids. This encourages frequent urination and helps flush out bacteria.
For women, following good hygiene practices is especially important:
- After a bowel movement, wipe from front to back to reduce the chance of moving E. coli bacteria from the rectal area to the urethra.
- Pee immediately before and after sex.
- Dont douche or use feminine deodorants on your genitals.
- Wear cotton underwear.
For older adults, take care to deal with retention problems, which are especially an issue as you age.
I tell them to double-void urinate and then go back and urinate again, Dr. Vasavada says.
What about drinking cranberry juice to fight UTIs?
Thats one of the most commonly asked questions, Dr. Vasavada says. Theres conflicting data. Its not going to cure an infection, but it could help prevent one, so we dont discourage it.
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What Is The Best Antibiotic For Uti
We see hundreds of questions in forums, along the lines of, Can I use for a UTI?
It is important to understand that there is no such thing as the best antibiotic for a UTI.
There IS such a thing as the best antibiotic for the specific type of bacterium causing YOUR UTI. Antibiotic susceptibility testing can help identify possible treatment options.
And although some types of bacteria are more common than others when it comes to causing UTIs, its really important you realize, the cause of YOUR UTI is unlikely to be the same as the cause of a random online strangers UTI.
Just because their UTI treatment was successful, it does not mean the same UTI treatment will work for you.
More importantly, there is increasing doubt over whether short course antibiotics provide any benefit at all in cases of recurrent UTI caused by a persistent, embedded bladder infection.
|I always took antibiotics as soon as I felt UTI symptoms. It would pretty much clear up by the next day. Then I got a UTI when I didnt have my antibiotics with me. I freaked out, but by the next day it had cleared up anyway. Now I have no idea whether the antibiotics even help.|
Temporary flare ups of UTI symptoms caused by a chronic infection may or may not be relieved faster than when non-antibiotic treatments are used. This means, the antibiotics you rely on for UTI treatment every time you get symptoms may not be making any difference whatsoever.
My Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections Treatment Regimen
I didnt realize at the time that this was the beginning of my recovery. My regimen took me to a place where I no longer had any symptoms. I was able to stop taking supplements on a daily basis. It wasnt about managing my symptoms anymore, they were just gone.
I was basically back at square one and I wanted a fresh start. I wanted more information everything I could get my hands on. I started with a range of blood tests to check my general health.
I discovered I was quite low in a few essential vitamins and minerals. In speaking with clinicians I have learned this is very common in people who have been fighting long term chronic infection.
First, I began to take a range of supplements targeting my deficiencies. Then I created a regimen of strong herbal antifungals and antibacterials based on the advice of my new doctor.
These were teamed up with oral and vaginal probiotics that contained probiotic strains showing promise for urinary tract and vaginal health.
I had tried all of these separately after reading studies about each of them. But I had never tried them together, or with a plan and a timeframe in mind.
I started my new regimen.
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How Are Urinary Abnormalities Diagnosed
It’s important for a doctor to rule out any underlying problems in the urinary system when a child gets UTIs repeatedly. Kids with recurrent infections should see a pediatric urologist to see what is causing the infections.
Some problems can be found before birth. Hydronephrosis that develops before birth can be seen in an ultrasound as early as 16 weeks. In rare cases, doctors may consider neonatal surgery if hydronephrosis affects both kidneys and is a risk to the fetus. Most of the time, though, doctors wait until after birth to treat the condition, because almost half of all cases seen prenatally disappear by the time a baby is born.
Doctors will closely watch the blood pressure of a newborn thought to have hydronephrosis or another urinary system abnormality, because some kidney problems can cause high blood pressure. Another ultrasound may be done to get a closer look at the bladder and kidneys. If the condition appears to be affecting both kidneys, doctors usually will order blood tests to check kidney function.
Could I Fight Utis Without Antibiotics
Three or four UTIs later I was living in a village in Greece. And when I say village, imagine a handful of houses on a hillside by the sea, hours from the nearest hospital.
And when I say houses, imagine a tiny, lovely, concrete box, with an outdoor bathroom beside an olive tree. It was a truly amazing experience, and I loved every minute of it between UTIs.
I sat on the toilet in that outdoor bathroom for a few hours at a time, debating whether to take the antibiotics I had brought with me. I contemplated whether my kidneys were actually disintegrating and coming out through my urethra.
Recurrent urinary tract infections can be terrifying. But once Id had half a dozen, I became dubious about the antibiotics. I looked for answers to questions like, Can you treat a UTI without antibiotics?
Maybe my body needed to fight this on its own to get better? Or maybe I would die in a remote village and my parents would have to expatriate my body.
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