Why Do I Get Multiple UTIs Each Year?
While most people will experience a urinary tract infection (UTI) at some point in their life, some men and women struggle with chronic UTIs multiple times per year. This can be extremely disruptive, uncomfortable, and frustrating. Fortunately, there are a number of diagnostic tests that can help pinpoint what may be causing recurrent UTIs and provide valuable information on which course of treatment can provide the quickest and longest-lasting relief. At Kasraeian Urology in Jacksonville, FL, board-certified urologists Drs. Ahmad and Ali Kasraeian understand the burden of recurrent UTIs and are committed to helping patients get the answers and treatment they deserve using a comprehensive array of advanced tools, including the PCR urine test. Read on for more information about the causes of recurrent bladder infections and when it may be appropriate to seek evaluation by a urologist.
What is a UTI?
A UTI, which stands for urinary tract infection, occurs when bacteria travels through the urethra and begins to grow in the bladder. In some cases, bacteria may travel further up the urinary tract and accumulate in the kidneys or other genitourinary structures, which can lead to a more serious infection. For most people, UTIs occur only a few times throughout their life and are easily explained by isolated exposure to a pathogen, a period of dehydration, or another common cause of UTIs. In other cases, however, patients struggle with chronic UTIs that recur at least three times per year.
What causes recurrent UTIs?
Generally speaking, women struggle with chronic UTIs more often than men, which is primarily due to their natural anatomy. Because a woman’s urethra is relatively short and is positioned close to the vaginal and anal openings, there are many opportunities for bacteria to reach the urethra and cause a UTI, particularly during the following activities:
- Sexual intercourse
- Wiping after using the restroom
- Wearing thong or string underwear
Additionally, some patients simply have a cellular predisposition to bacterial growth, making it more likely for them to develop multiple UTIs each year. Other factors – like dehydration, an underlying medical condition, and certain urological conditions – can contribute to recurrent UTIs.
How are recurrent UTIs treated?
The most important factor in effectively treating recurrent urinary tract infections is to identify the likeliest cause of the problem and the pathogen responsible for the infections. To determine this information in the most accurate and efficient manner possible, Dr. Kasraeian may suggest a PCR urine test. Unlike a traditional urine culture or urinalysis, the PCR urine test offers same-day results and provides a wealth of information about the patient’s UTI, including:
- Which bacteria is present in the urine
- Antibiotic sensitivities and resistances
- Whether there is any evidence of an STD, yeast, or another contaminant
With this information, Dr. Kasraeian can start the patient on the appropriate antibiotic quickly and better understand what health or lifestyle factors may be responsible for their UTIs so that behavioral modifications can be made. Generally speaking, patients can reduce their risk of recurrent UTIs with the following practices:
- Wipe from front to back after using the restroom (women)
- Empty your bladder after having sex
- Do not hold your urine
- Be sure to fully empty your bladder every time you void
- Stay hydrated
- Avoid thong/string underwear
- Practice proper hygiene habits
Break the cycle of recurrent UTIs with PCR urine testing and treatment in Jacksonville, FL
Living with recurrent bladder infections can take a toll on virtually every aspect of a person’s life, leaving them feeling frustrated, uncomfortable, and even embarrassed. If you are tired of dealing with UTIs three or more times per year, we can help. To learn more about your options for finally reducing the frequency of your UTIs and preventing future infections, call Kasraeian Urology to schedule your private consultation with either of our top Jacksonville, FL board-certified urologists Dr. Ahmad Kasraeian and Dr. Ali Kasraeian today.