Why Do I Keep Getting Urinary Tract Infections?


Urinary tract infections, more common in women than in men, refer to infections in the urethra, bladder or kidneys.They are characterized by a general soreness and painful urination. If you find that you are getting frequent urinary tract infections, you need to understand some of the reasons why and what treatment you can pursue.


One of the symptoms of a bladder infection is the urge to urinate frequently. However, You may be unable to urinate more than small amounts, although your bladder may feel full. If the infection is located in the urethra and bladder alone most people will not get a fever. A fever accompanied with general malaise and fatigue could indicate that the kidneys have also become inflamed.

Common Causes

Women are more prone to get urinary tract infections because their urethra is shorter, and therefore it is easier for bacteria to enter or be affected by other irritants. Irritants such as tight pants, bubble baths and perfumed soaps can aggravate and cause inflammation in girls and women. Both men and women who have had kidney stones, urinary tract health problems or diabetes have a greater chance of getting a urinary tract infection. The same is true of patients who need a catheter to urinate.

E. Coli Bacteria

Escheria coli, more commonly abbreviated as E. coli, is present in your intestines. This bacteria is responsible for most bacterial urinary tract infections. E. coli has a hairlike structure that allows it to climb up through the urethra and into your bladder. Once it embeds itself in your bladder, it multiplies and inflames your bladder and you get an infection. Your doctor can do a urine culture to see if the E. coli bacteria is responsible for your urine infection.

Recurring Bladder Infections

According to the National Kidney and Urological Disease Information Clearinghouse, 80 percent of women who have had more than two urinary tract infections will have another. If you find that you are getting recurring infections and other causes have been ruled out, such as a sexually transmitted disease or an external irritant, E. coli is the most likely culprit. E. coli syndrome causes recurring infections and needs to be treated with antibiotics.


Once you know what causes recurring urinary tract infections, your doctor will suggest a course of antibiotics. She may recommend taking a low dosage for several months, and an additional dose before intercourse. Subsequent treatment includes taking antibiotics for a very short period--maybe a day or two every time you start noticing the symptoms. Drinking plenty of water and emptying your bladder fully when you urinate will help avoid future infections. Your doctor may recommend cranberry juice or supplements, an recommend that you avoid perfumed soaps and baths. Take showers instead of soaking in a bathtub, and if you are sexually active, be sure to clean your genital area before and after intercourse. Your doctor may have additional suggestions for you.

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