How Can I Prevent Recurrent UTIs?

An infection that affects any part of the urinary system (kidneys, bladder, ureter, urethra) is a type of urinary tract infection. Women are more prone to UTIs for anatomical reasons; bacteria can enter more easily and have a shorter distance to travel. However, all people, regardless of gender, are at risk.

UTIs are painful and unpleasant for everyone, but an individual UTI is usually straightforward to treat. However, some people are especially prone to UTIs and get several a year. When UTIs are a chronic problem, they can be especially frustrating and disruptive, so it’s important to take preventive steps.

For urinary tract infections and other urological issues, Drs. Craig Herman, Steven Kester, and the medical team at the Urology Center of Florida have years of experience providing quality treatment.

How do people get UTIs?

Urinary tract infections are the result of bacteria getting into the urinary system, which commonly results in one of the following conditions:

Cystitis

The E coli bacteria, which can be found in the gastrointestinal tract, is often responsible for UTIs and cystitis.This bacteria is normally harmless in the GI tract but if it gets into the urinary tract it can create issues. 

With cystitis the urinary bladder becomes infected and inflamed, though UTIs are not always responsible. Hygiene products that irritate can also cause cystitis along with certain drugs and consistent use of a catheter.

Urethritis

An inflammation of the urethra (the tube that passes urine from the bladder to the outside of the body) urethritis is similar to a UTI but they are not exactly the same. A UTI can happen anywhere in the urinary system, but urethritis only happens in the urethra. 

While bacteria is the more common cause, there are viruses that can cause urethritis as well as some STDs. 

UTIs can infect any part of the urinary system, including the kidneys (acute pyelonephritis). Sex with different partners or switching from vaginal to anal sex without cleaning can cause a UTI, as well as certain types of birth control and blockages in the urinary tract.

What are the risks of getting recurrent UTIs?

Women have a much greater risk of UTIs because of anatomy. Bacteria may more easily spread from the rectum to the urethra. Habits including wiping the wrong way and certain sexual positions can contribute to UTIs.

Contraceptive diaphragms may also increase risks, as they may push against the bladder and can make urinating harder. This can encourage bacterial growth in the urinary tract.

UTIs are more likely to affect older men than younger men because of age-related prostate issues, including an enlarged prostate. Instead of outside bacteria entering the urinary tract, UTIs in men often result from bacteria naturally present in your body becoming trapped. An enlarged prostate can block the flow of urine from your bladder, so you can’t clear out bacteria as normal.

Be sure to see your doctor if you keep getting UTIs. The risk will continue if you don’t address the underlying cause.

How do you prevent or treat recurrent UTIs?

While antibiotics are a common, effective treatment to control UTIs when they happen, it’s important to follow good habits in order to prevent chronic infections. Drinking plenty of water, using alternative birth control methods, and urinating bladder after sex are ways to help prevent recurring UTIs. However, the underlying causes of recurrent UTIs vary from person to person, so it’s most effective to develop an individualized treatment and prevention plan with your doctor. 

So if you’re dealing with the complications of recurring UTIs make an appointment with Drs. Herman and Kester and the team at the Urology Center of Florida to get relief.

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