Recurrent Cystitis In Women
In this series
Some women have recurring bouts of cystitis, sometimes defined as two proven infections within six months, or three infections in a year.
In this article
Cystitis means inflammation of the bladder. It is usually caused by a urine infection. Some women have repeated bouts of cystitis. Doctors define a recurrent infection as either three proven separate infections in a year or as two in six months. In many cases there is no apparent reason for a woman to get frequent attacks of cystitis. There are a number of treatment options to consider. This might be treating each episode promptly with a short course of antibiotics, a regular low dose of antibiotics taken long-term, or taking a single dose of antibiotic after having sex . You can read more about cystitis in the separate leaflet called Cystitis in Women.
Bladder Cancer Signs And Symptoms In Women
Blood in the urine
- Blood in the urine is the most common sign of bladder cancer and is also often the first sign noticed. This is because early bladder cancer frequently causes bleeding without pain or other symptoms.
- Depending on the amount of blood present, the urine may appear pink, red, or brownish in color. When blood is present at levels not visible to the naked eye it is referred to as microhematuria. Microhematuria is detected by laboratory urine tests.
- It is important to note that hematuria also occurs commonly in people who do not have bladder cancer. In one study, only about 10% of people with visible hematuria were diagnosed with bladder cancer.7
A change in urination habits and/or symptoms of irritation, such as:
- Increased frequency
- Pain or a burning sensation during urination
- Increased urgency
- Difficulty passing urine
Bladder cancer that has grown in size or spread to other areas of the body may cause a variety of symptoms including an inability to pass urine, lower back pain on one side of the body, pain in the pelvic region, appetite/weight loss, general weakness, swollen feet, or bone pain.
If you have noticed any of these symptoms and are concerned, visit your doctor and ask about testing options, including Cxbladder. Cxbladder is a non-invasive urine test that can quickly and accurately detect or rule out bladder cancer.Learn more about Cxbladder
Why Does My Child Keep Getting A Uti
Common causes of UTIs are constipation, wiping from back to front, holding in pee, taking bubble baths or staying in a wet bathing suit for extended periods.
However, recurrent UTIs could be a sign of a malformation or malfunction of the urinary tract, such as vesicoureteral reflux . VUR occurs when the flow of urine goes the wrong direction from the bladder to the kidneys and is common among infants and children.
Your childs doctor can help rule out other conditions related to UTIs and discuss treatment options.
Also Check: Bladder Cancer Foods To Avoid
How Urinary Tract Infections Are Treated In Men
Whether an infection affects a man or a woman, the treatment is the same: a round of antibiotics to kill the bacteria and get rid of UTI symptoms. For an uncomplicated infection, a woman typically needs to take an antibiotic for one to three days. For men, a longer course of at least seven days of antibiotics is required, says Trost.
Also Check: What Causes Overactive Bladder In Women
Causes Of Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections In Dogs
In most cases urinary tract infections occur when bacteria from the gastrointestinal tract inhabit the genital area and then start moving up the urethra.
Certain issues and conditions serve as risk factors because they promote bacteria buildup and multiplication. The most common risk factors include:
- Systemic conditions affecting the immune system function like Cushings disease, obesity, hypothyroidism, and diabetes
- Stones, polyps, and tumors in the bladder
- Stones or tumors in the kidneys
- Prolonged use of certain medications like steroids or chemotherapy
- Weakened urinary sphincters as a result of old age or spay procedures which leads to persistent urine dripping
- Neurological problems
- Functional or structural abnormalities which lead to urine drops and moisture getting trapped in the genital area and acting as perfect breeding ground for germs.
Basically, any dog can develop a urinary tract infection. However, females are more likely simply because, in females, bacteria need to make shorter trips to reach the urinary tract structures than in males.
According to the American Kennel Club, certain dog breeds like Yorkshire terriers, Shih Tzus, and Bichon Frises are more likely to develop urinary tract infections.
Perhaps this is due to their tendency of forming urinary tract stones and stones are a risk factor for UTIs.
Read Also: How To Stop A Leaky Bladder Without Surgery
Cranberry Juice And Tablets
Cranberry juice and tablets have been shown to reduce RUTIs as they contain a compound called tannin, or proanthocyanidin, which reduces E. coli vaginal colonisation., Although earlier, smaller studies have shown that consuming cranberry juice or tablets can prevent RUTIs, an updated Cochrane review showed that evidence for its benefit in preventing UTIs is small therefore, cranberry juice cannot be recommended any longer for UTI prevention.,
What Can Mimic A Uti
So, if it’s not a UTI, what else could it be? Several other infectious and non-infectious disease processes can cause symptoms that mimic a UTI. These include conditions such as vaginitis, overactive bladder, and kidney stones some sexually transmitted infections and diseases such as bladder cancer. Due to the potentially serious consequences of many of these alternate diagnoses, it is important that recurrent UTI-like symptoms are thoroughly investigated.
Also Check: Muscle Spasm In Bladder Area
Why Do Dogs Continue To Have Urinary Tract Infections
Most dogs develop UTI when normal skin and the bacterial flora of the gastrointestinal tract pass through the urinary tract defenses. These bacteria then settle in the urinary tract and cause infections. E. coli is the most common cause of UTI bacteria, but some bacteria and even some fungi can cause infections.
Innate And Adaptive Immunity
The urothelium reacts to infection by undergoing apoptosis and exfoliation of infected cells from the urothelial host cells. Innate and adaptive immune system are not well understood in UTI, but the defense system against bacterial challenge may explain why the majority of women who experience initial and acute UTI do not show recurrent infection . Jaillon et al. demonstrated the important role of pentraxin 3 , a key player in the humoral and innate immunity against UTIs. PTX3-deficient animal model showed damaged response and exacerbated inflammation after UTI. Upregulation of PTX3 was induced in urothelial host cells by UPEC in a TLR4- and MyD88-dependent manner. The study also reported that increased level of PTX3 in the serum and urine of patients was associated with the severity of UTI. Moreover, they showed that polymorphisms of the PTX3 gene were correlated with susceptibility to infections. Based on these results, PTX3 could be involved in innate immunity against UTIs and have activity of ingestion of bacteria and phagosome maturation in neutrophils. In addition, PTX3-deficient neutrophils showed damaged ability of phagocytosis. The deficiency of PTX3 might show poor ability to control infection, resulting in spread of infection. Therefore, PTX3 deficiency could be associated with recurrent and chronic UTI .
Read Also: How To Treat A Leaky Bladder
How Do I Talk To My Gp About Chronic Urinary Tract Infections
Unfortunately currently guidelines for GPs dont even mention chronic UTI. We know it can be difficult to explain all this and describe your symptoms in a short doctors appointment.
Write down all your symptoms as we outlined above and take them with you to your appointment.
Your doctor may well investigate if your UTIs are related to your prostate. But if these investigations come back negative ask your GP to consider chronic UTI.
No detail is too small when visiting the doctor about urinary problems. It may help to write down a list of symptoms, no matter how small, and take them with you to your appointment. For example an unusual smell, abnormal amounts of foam, or persistently darker urine than usual may seem unimportant to you, but to a doctor these can be the characteristic symptoms required to diagnose a given condition.
How To Treat Embedded Infections
Both long-term antibiotics and more natural approaches can be used to support recovery.
Please stay tuned for my next few blog posts in which I will look at both approaches in detail.
Do you think you might be suffering from chronic embedded infections? Let me know in the comments!
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Recommended Reading: How Long Does It Take Azo Bladder Control To Work
When To Call A Healthcare Provider
Urinary tract infections require treatment with antibiotics. Even if a UTI is relatively mild, your healthcare provider will likely recommend a one- to three-day course of antibiotics.
If a UTI is causing dyspareunia, it is typically due to frequent or recurrent UTIs that require more extensive treatment. In some cases, a daily, low-dose antibiotic may be prescribed for six months or longer. In postmenopausal women, estrogen replacement therapy may be advised.
If a kidney infection develops, you need to seek prompt medical attention. If left untreated, pyelonephritis can lead to kidney failure and .
What Are Treatments Available For Utis
Though UTIs are usually not serious or a sign of concern, they can cause severe pain and discomfort. If not treated, some UTIs can lead to more serious conditions that may have life-changing effects.
To alleviate this pain and discomfort, here are some tips!
Consult your doctor and he might prescribe some antibiotic medications which you will have to take either once or twice a day for 5-7 or more days.
We recommend drinking adequate fluids to stay hydrated and urinate often while taking your antibiotics. Many people prefer drinking cranberry juice to prevent UTIs but there is no strong evidence that supports this home remedy.
Recommended Reading: Antibiotics For Bladder Infection While Pregnant
How A Chronic Uti Develops
Chronic Urinary Tract Infection Causes
Urinary tract infections result from bacteria finding its way into your urine. Although urine is normally bacteria-free, there are many ways bacteria can enter your urinary tract. Causes and risk factors include:
- Sexual intercourse
- Certain types of birth control
- Low estrogen levels
- Holding in urine or not emptying your bladder completely
- Not drinking enough water
Read Also: Stage 3 Bladder Cancer Life Expectancy
What Causes Chronic Urinary Tract Infections
- Bacteria from the rectum and vagina
- Bacteria entering the urethra during sexual intercourse
- Urinary tract problems
- Problems emptying the bladder completely due to blockage, muscle or nerve problems
- Kidney or bladder stones
- Altered estrogen levels during menopause
- Genetic predisposition
Women are at an increased risk of getting urinary tract infections if they:
- Have had a UTI before
- Have had several children
Biofilms And Persistent Uti
|In the case of a chronic urinary tract infection, a biofilm is a community of bacterial cells that stick together and adhere to the bladder wall. These cells then produce a protective slime that shields the bacterial community from antibiotics and the natural defences of the body.|
This goopy shield makes diagnosis and treatment very difficult. And while the bacteria are contained within their shield, the body is less likely to mount an effective response to their presence.
When bacteria are periodically released or escape from the biofilm, the body recognizes a threat. This triggers an inflammatory response, heightening symptoms of a UTI. This can be experienced as a cycle of acute symptoms, followed by periods of fewer or no symptoms.
|I get a UTI every month or so. In between each really bad UTI I would feel mostly better, but Id often have sensations like another UTI was coming on. I was continually drinking water to try and prevent it, but, like clockwork, my symptoms would suddenly get much worse and Id end up with another full blown UTI.|
We hear many people refer to this as a cycle of flare ups or episodes. This implies they believe it to be a continuous, chronic issue with both acute and symptom-free phases. Evidence shows they are probably right.
Recommended Reading: Can A Bladder Infection Cause Incontinence
Clinical Presentation And Diagnosis
Common symptoms of a UTI are dysuria, urinary frequency, urgency, suprapubic pain and possible haematuria. Systemic symptoms are usually slight or absent. The urine may have an unpleasant odour and appear cloudy. Diagnosis of RUTI depends on the characteristic of clinical features, past history, three positive urinary cultures within the previous 12-month period in symptomatic patients and the presence of neutrophils in the urine .,, Irritative voiding symptoms are present in 2530 % of women with RUTIs. The probability of finding a positive culture in the presence of the above symptoms and the absence of vaginal discharge is around 81%. In a complicated UTI, such as pyelonephritis, the symptoms of a lower UTI will persist for more than a week with systemic symptoms of persistent fever, chills, nausea and vomiting.
Women with RUTIs should have an initial evaluation including a history-taking and a physical and pelvic examination the latter is important to detect pelvic organ prolapse and to assess the status of the vaginal epithelium. Urinalysis and urine culture with sensitivity are also valuable investigations. Women with a positive family history of DM, obesity or RUTI must be screened for DM., Women with suspected urine retention need to be evaluated for high post-void residual urine volume.
Urinary Tract Infection Causes
Urinary tract infections typically occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra, travel into the bladder and begin to multiply. Common bladder infection causes include:
- Infection of the bladder This type of infection is usually caused by Escherichia coli , a type of bacteria commonly found in the gastrointestinal tract. However, other bacteria are sometimes responsible. To reduce your risk of this type of infection, be sure to wipe front to back , drink plenty of fluids, avoid holding your urine, urinate before and after intercourse, avoid scented products and take probiotics that contain cranberry. Also, be sure to change your pad or panty liner every 3-5 hours.
- Infection of the urethra This type of infection occurs when GI bacteria spread from the anus to the urethra. Because the urethra is in close proximity to the vagina, sexually transmitted infections like herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia and mycoplasma can also cause urethritis.
Also Check: What’s Good For Bladder Control
Reasons Why You Might Get Recurring Utis
Many women who get a urinary tract infection may get one again at some point in their lives. In fact, one in five women experience recurrent UTIsan infection that occurs two times or more within six months or at least three times in a year. Men can get recurrent UTIs too, but it is not as common and is often due to some type of urinary tract blockage.
Symptoms Of Recurrent Utis
UTIs cause a range of symptoms, which can vary depending on which part of the urinary tract is affected.
Common symptoms include:
- A feeling of pain or burning during urination
- Pain or pressure in the pelvic area
- A strong urge to urinate
- Frequent urination in small amounts
- Urine that is cloudy
- Urine that is colored slightly red, pink, or brown
- Urine with a strong, unpleasant odor
A UTI that has spread to the kidneys is a potentially serious infection that requires immediate medical attention. Contact your physician right away if you have a UTI along with nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, and/or back pain below your ribs on one side.
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What Can I Do To Prevent Recurrent Utis
The majority of UTIs, about 90%, are caused by E. coli, a bacteria that naturally occurs in your intestines where its helpful. When this bacteria comes in contact with your urinary tract system, however, it can be harmful and lead to a UTI.
For most people, simple hygiene and lifestyle changes can help prevent recurrent UTIs. To help stop a UTI before it starts, try implementing these tips:
- Avoid spreading E. coli by washing your genitals with warm water and mild soap before and after sex.
- Drink plenty of fluids to flush out any wandering bacteria from the urinary system.
- Be sure to urinate after having sex to keep bacteria from lingering in the urethra.
- When you feel the urge to urinate, go postponing urination increases your risk of developing a UTI.
- Be sure to wipe from front to back to avoid spreading E. coli to the vagina.
Ready to learn more about UTIs and how they affect older women? Experiencing symptoms of a UTI? Contact our Littleton office or book an appointment online now and the help you need!