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Date of last update: 8/13/2017.

Forum Name: Urinary tract infections

Question: Why Do I Have So Many Infections?

 SadEmptyWoman1986 - Mon Aug 06, 2007 7:14 pm

Hello, I am a 21 year old female. I ALWAYS have urinary tract infections. I have gone to my doctor dozens of times and every time he prescribes antibiotics and tells me "You get these infections because you are human". This answer definitely does not satisfy me. Is there any way at all to prevent these urinary tract infections, because I constantly have them, even after antibiotics they come back. I have also treated it as a yeast infection and it still comes back the same way. I do have Irritable Bowl Syndrome, is this affecting it somehow? Is there anyway to change my diet or take some kind of medication to help prevent this?Thankyou.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Mon Aug 13, 2007 6:47 pm

User avatar Hi SadEmptyWoman1986,

If you have had multiple urine infections it may be a good idea to have a renal ultrasound and a voiding cystourethrogram to see if you have any structural abnormalities or vesicoureteroreflux (when the urine goes backwards up the ureters to the kidney).

If there are any of these present it may be recommended to take a daily antibiotic to prevent urine infections.

UTI's are very, very common in young women, particularly those that are sexually active. The reason is that the urethra in women is short making it easier for bacteria to enter the bladder. It may be that you are one of the unfortunate women that will get many urine infections without any "set up" for getting them. In this case, drinking plenty of water can help keep the bladder flushed to wash out any bacteria present.

Some people believe drinking cranberry juice can help prevent UTI's. Some studies support this and others show it not to be true. Overall, it is a safe thing to do so it may be worth a try.

Best wishes.
 skinned_kitten - Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:47 pm

I had a urinary tract infection and my doctor told me to go pee after every time I have sex and I have never had one since. Bacteria gets up inside the urinary tract whenever you have sex I guess. So it just needs to be flushed within like a half hour of sexual activity.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:42 pm

User avatar Hello Skinned_kitten,

You are correct that urination after sexual contact can help prevent a urinary tract infection from developing in some women. The mechanism is essentially as you have said. Urination flushes out the bacteria and helps keep them from remaining in the urethra and subsequently moving up into the bladder. Thanks for the tip.

Best wishes.
 YoungWorried - Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:34 pm

I have also been getting VERY regular UTI's - maybe once every month! Each time a UTI appears, i visit my doctor and he prescribes me with antibiotics - which never really do the job. At the same time i also take probiotics which also don't seem to help.

However, this month i got a terrible scare. My period started about two weeks ago, with an incredibly heavy flow. I have never had heavy flows or periodpains before, but this month it was so bad that i was having to change sanataries every hour. There was also alot of clotting and what appeared to look like flesh. Once my period stopped, a week later i was experiancing a lot of running, dark brown discharge. I have never ever experinaced this before. I have heard that spotting is normal, however i read that spotting doesnt release enough discharge to reach your underwear - and mine did.

Should i be worried? And what could this be? I am 23 by the way.
 Debbie Miller, RN - Tue Feb 03, 2009 5:40 pm

User avatar Hello YoungWorried,

You did not mention if you are sexually active or not. If so, there is always the possibility you could have a very early miscarriage - before knowledge of pregnancy. There are other hormonal irregularities that can cause such symptoms on occasion. If it does not continue it is probably nothing to worry about. Bleeding that soaks a pad every hour for several hours should be reported to your doctor. Clots are not considered a problem for the most part. When blood pools for a while, the natural response is for it to clot, then when you expel it, this is what you see - scary as it is, it is not harmful.

As for the UTIs. As Dr. Lowe mentioned above, these are very common in young women and measures can be taken to help, including wearing cotton underwear, pants that are not too tight-fitting, keeping the area clean, wiping front to back, drinking lots of fluids and emptying your bladder frequently, especially after sex. It takes a lot of cranberry juice to change the pH but some people even get cranberry pills for this purpose. As he said, it can't hurt and some people have found it to be helpful.

You may want to discuss with your doctor the possibility that you may need a low maintenance dose antibiotic to keep this under control. Some women benefit from this treatment.

Best wishes.

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