What About Chronic UTIs and Prevention?
Many women suffer from chronic UTIs, which are also known as recurrent UTIs. Chronic urinary tract infections are defined as: at least 2 infections in 6 months or 3 infections in 1 year. Statistics on chronic UTIs include the following:
- Nearly 20 percent of women who have a UTI will have another UTI
- 30 percent of women who have two UTIs will have another UTI
- 80 percent of women who have more than two UTIs will have recurrences.
Men also frequently get repeat urinary tract infections.
If you get recurrent urinary tract infections, talk with your doctor about special UTI treatment plans. Your doctor may refer you to an urologist, who is a doctor who specializes in urinary problems. Also, your doctor may have you take antibiotics over a longer period of time to help prevent repeat infections.
Doctors suggest some additional steps that a woman can take to help reduce the chances or prevent urinary tract infections:
- Drink plenty of water every day
- Urinate when you feel the need; don't resist the urge to urinate
- Wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria around the anus from entering the vagina or urethra
- Take showers instead of baths
- Cleanse the genital area before sexual intercourse
- Avoid using feminine hygiene sprays and scented douches, which may irritate the urethra.
Some doctors suggest drinking cranberry juice can help prevent a UTI.
(Click Urinary Tract Infections Prevention for more information about urinary tract infection prevention.)