ZocdocAnswersWhy do I get a Urinary Tract Infection every few weeks and what can I do to prevent this?

Question

Why do I get a Urinary Tract Infection every few weeks and what can I do to prevent this?

I'm a 28 year old woman that is sexually active. At least once a month over the past half year, I have been getting urinary tract infections and it contributes to unbearable feelings of nausea, headaches, pain during urination, and so on. It is extremely uncomfortable and every time I go to the doctors they always tell me "some people are just more prone to getting UTI than others". But isn't there something I can do to decrease the frequency of these besides drinking water and eating healthy (because I am already doing that!)

Answer

Recurrent urinary tract infections can be a very frustrating for a patient, as you have clearly articulated. UTIs are typically managed by primary care physicians, but some patients who have problems with recurrent UTIs may seek additional evaluation by a urologist. As your doctors have told you, some people are simply more prone to getting these kinds of infections than others. However, there are several reasons why you may be getting such recurrent infections and the good news is that there are several additional things you can do besides drinking water (which is a very good first step) to try to prevent these infections. First, sexual activity is a definite risk factor for helping cause UTIs in women. This doesn't mean you should stop having sex, but you should make sure that you void after sexual activity to help flush any bacteria out of your system. In addition, you should be careful to wipe front to back and not back to front, again to minimize introducing bacteria to the area. In some cases, physicians may even prescribe prophylactic antibiotics to be taken as a single pill after sexual intercourse to prevent an infection from taking hold. Second, since you seem to be developing recurrent infections, it is possible that you may not be completely recovering from a single UTI with the antibiotics you have been taking. This is why it is important to see your physician to go over the antibiotics you have tried, the length of time you were taking them, and the intervals between repeat infections.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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