Why Do Urinary Tract Infections Keep Coming Back?

Apr 01, 2023
Why Do Urinary Tract Infections Keep Coming Back?
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are infections of the organs of your urinary tract and can become chronic. Here’s why they might be coming back and how we treat them.

Urinary tract infections – commonly referred to as UTIs – are the second most common infection in the United States, accounting for 8 million visits to the doctor each year. It’s estimated that 8 in 25 women and 3 in 25 men will have symptoms of a UTI at some point in their lives.

UTIs happen when there’s an infection in the organs of your urinary tract, including your bladder, kidneys, and urethra. These infections can be minor and treated easily; however, if it spreads to your kidneys, it can become serious and lead to hospitalization. 

Chronic, or recurrent, UTIs are infections that either keep coming back or don’t respond well to treatment. They are diagnosed when you have two UTIs in six months or three in a one year span. At Texas Infectious Disease InstituteSerge Lartchenko, MD, and the rest of our team treat a variety of infections, including chronic UTIs.

We take a closer look at what causes UTIs and how we treat them.

Understanding UTIs

UTIs are typically caused by bacteria entering the urethra; however, they can also be caused by fungi or even viruses. There are many factors that can put you at high risk of developing UTIs, and those factors include:

  • Age (older adults are more likely to develop UTIs)
  • Kidney stones
  • Being sexually active
  • Gender (women are more likely to have UTIs)
  • Urinary tract blockages
  • Using a catheter
  • Having a weakened immune system

Using certain types of birth control and spermicides can also increase your risk of UTIs. 

Symptoms of UTIs include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Cloudy urine
  • Burning or painful urination
  • Abdominal or pelvic pain

You may also constantly feel the need to urinate even after you’ve emptied your bladder.

Treatment and prevention

UTIs are treated with antibiotics along with drinking plenty of fluids and practicing good hygiene. If you deal with numerous recurring UTIs, our team can prescribe a combination of antibiotics that can treat even the most stubborn of infections.

To prevent further UTIs down the road, it’s important to do the following:

  • Drink plenty of fluids to flush out bacteria
  • Urinate as often as you need, especially before and after sex
  • Wear cotton underwear and loose clothing
  • Avoid using diaphragms and spermicides for birth control
  • Avoid scented body washes or douches

Additionally, always remember to wipe front to back after urinating. Doing all of these things can help reduce your risk of further UTIs.

If you struggle with chronic UTIs, come see our team at Texas Infectious Disease Institute located in Richardson, Texas, for medical help. To schedule an appointment with us, call our office at 469-960-4413 or use our online booking tool today.