Chronic Urinary Tract Infection vs. Recurrent UTI

By Melissa Kramer

12 mins

Is a chronic urinary tract infection the same thing as a recurrent UTI? What does it mean if you get frequent urinary tract infections? Is there anything you can do if you keep getting UTIs?

These are just some of the questions we get on a daily basis. Below, we’ve answered these as best we can. We hope that after reading this, you’ll better understand what may be happening in your own body. And even better, feel more equipped to tackle it head on.

Article Quick Links

  • Persistent UTI vs. recurrent or frequent UTI: what’s the difference? >>>>
  • Why do I keep getting UTIs? >>>>
  • The different types of chronic urinary tract infection. >>>>
  • What causes chronic urinary tract infection (aka frequent UTIs)?  >>>>
  • Can you test for chronic or frequent UTI? >>>>
  • When to see a doctor for chronic urinary tract infection. >>>>

Persistent UTI vs. Recurrent Or Frequent UTI: What’s The Difference?

A Defintion On Live UTI FreeA recurrent urinary tract infection is officially defined as three episodes of a UTI in the previous 12 months or two episodes within the previous 6 months.

At the moment, it is generally accepted that recurrent UTIs occur due to either reinfection or a persistent infection.

A Defintion On Live UTI FreeReinfection refers to an infection where the pathogen is eradicated by treatment, then the same or a different pathogen ascends the urinary tract to cause a new infection.
A Defintion On Live UTI FreePersistence means the pathogen that caused the UTI is not completely cleared from the bladder by treatment, remains detectable in the urine, and after treatment returns to a level that once again causes symptoms of infection. This cycle of persistence can repeat indefinitely, feeling like a new infection each time. A persistent infection is also called a chronic urinary tract infection.

Evidence suggests that many recurrences of UTI may actually be caused by an underlying bladder infection that came about due to ineffective initial treatment.

Frequent UTIs caused by persistent bladder infection are also referred to as chronic cystitis or chronic urinary tract infection.

Note that while terms used for various urinary tract conditions may sound different, they could refer to the same thing.

When we refer to recurrent UTI in this site, we usually mean persistent infections; also called chronic urinary tract infections.

If your frequent UTIs are actually caused by an underlying chronic urinary tract infection, you need to pay attention here:

Whatever you’re doing to treat each occurrence of UTI is probably not working.

The fact that your UTIs keep returning should be enough evidence of this. But you may not know why chronic urinary tract infections are so hard to properly treat. Fortunately, we can explain it through super interesting science.

Why Do I Keep Getting UTIs?

While most uncomplicated UTIs either resolve on their own, or with a course of antibiotics, there is an increasing number of cases of chronic urinary tract infections that cause ongoing symptoms.

You get a UTI, you take the antibiotics you are given, the symptoms disappear, and everything seems normal. Then you suddenly find yourself with another UTI… You take the antibiotics you are given, the symptoms disappear, and everything seems normal, until…

It may sound like a broken record, but this is the situation more and more females find themselves in.

A Quote On Live UTI Free About Recurrent UTIs“I’ve had recurrent UTIs for around 15 years. I take antibiotics when it gets really bad, and it seems to help, but I always get another one, and I always anticipate getting another one. I try my best to prevent it, but it seems inevitable.”

Statistics Around Frequent UTIs

While the statistics around chronic urinary tract infections are hard to find, we do know that:

  • 30-44% of females with an initial UTI will experience a second UTI. And with each UTI, the risk of another UTI increases.
  • Frequent UTIs may be caused by multiple organisms simultaneously.
  • A significant proportion of our quiz respondents have suffered 7+ UTIs, with a recurrence every 1-3 months.
  • Our own data indicate that most females who experience recurrent UTIs do so despite standard antibiotic treatment.
  • Testing and treatment guidelines for chronic urinary tract infections are inadequate or do not exist in most parts of the world. This means even when doctors want to help, they generally don’t have the resources or guidance they need to be able to.
  • One study found that 74% of females diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis had previously been diagnosed with recurrent UTIs. Interstitial Cystitis (defined below) is a painful set of urinary tract symptoms with no identified cause and no known cure.
  • 93% of the females included in the above study had also received negative test results after having their urine cultured (more on this in our testing guides).

In short, a significant number of females move through escalating stages of diagnosis as antibiotic treatment fails to cure them and testing fails to find a cause.

The Absence Of Recurrent UTI Guidelines

Because there are no guidelines on managing complex or recurrent UTI, primary care doctors are generally not in a position to help.

A Doctor Quote About Recurrent UTIs On Live UTI Free “Most UTI guidelines are aimed at management of simple uncomplicated UTI. It can be very difficult to successfully manage complex or recurrent UTI in primary care. If symptoms persist, or where there is diagnostic uncertainty GP’s will need to make a referral for specialist assessment."

Dr Jon Rees, Chair, Primary Care Urology Society, UK

For females that progress from a single UTI, to recurrent UTI or chronic urinary tract infection, or to a diagnosis of Interstitial Cystitis, there has historically been very little hope of effective treatment. We hope to help change this.

Different Types Of Chronic Urinary Tract Infection

Depending which country you are in, what your symptoms are, and which terminology your doctor is familiar with, you may have heard the following terms to describe different conditions of the urinary tract:

Chronic Urinary Tract Conditions: Different Names For The Same Family Of Problems

AcronymTermDefinition
RUTIRecurrent Urinary Tract Infection
(Specifically, persistent recurrent infections)
Three episodes of a UTI in the previous 12 months or two episodes within the previous 6 months. RUTI can be classified as a persistent infection or a reinfection.

The open nature of this definition means there is no logical end to this diagnosis. Even after twenty years of UTIs, this definition can still apply to you.
cUTIChronic Urinary Tract Infection / Chronic CystitisA persistent infection of the bladder.

As with RUTI, many females are diagnosed with chronic cystitis indefinitely.
IC
PBS
BPS
Interstitial Cystitis
Painful Bladder Syndrome
Bladder Pain Syndrome
An unpleasant sensation (pain, pressure, discomfort) perceived to be related to the urinary bladder, associated with lower urinary tract symptoms of more than six weeks duration, in the absence of infection or other identifiable causes.

The American Urological Association

HBS
HSB
Hypersensitive Bladder Syndrome

Hypersensitive Bladder

An umbrella term used in East Asia to cover conditions resulting in symptoms including, bladder pain, discomfort, pressure or other unpleasant sensation,
and is associated with disorders such as a frequent need to urinate day and night
and/or an urgent need to urinate. It encompasses Bladder Pain Syndrome. International Painful Bladder Foundation

If you do a little research, you will quickly find there are also sub-categories within these  conditions, with varying symptoms and levels of injury to the urinary tract.

It is not our intention here to imply these chronic urinary tract conditions are the same, or that they affect people in the same ways. But they do have an important thing in common – in the majority of cases, no cause has been identified, and the condition is therefore not curable. Treatment focuses on reducing symptoms rather than resolving the underlying issue.

A Quote On Live UTI Free About Recurrent UTIs“After about 3.5 years of chronic urinary tract infections, two doctors said they couldn’t help me further. A third said ‘maybe you just have irritable bladder or IC.’ That ‘maybe’ didn’t feel like a diagnosis. Why did my test results tell them nothing?”

So why do we mention these chronic urinary tract conditions?

There is strong evidence that many have been misdiagnosed with incurable conditions, when in fact they are afflicted with a chronic, embedded bladder infection that can be identified with appropriate testing, and treated effectively over time.

Let us explain…

What Causes Chronic Urinary Tract Infection?

This is where the science gets a little more complicated. (But fascinating too!)

We’ve talked elsewhere about what causes UTIs. And above, we explained that recurrent UTIs can be attributed to a persistent bladder infection that is not properly eradicated by treatment.

A persistent bladder infection can last for years in the form of a chronic urinary tract infection. For many females, the cycle of acute and symptom-free periods is never broken, and some move on to be diagnosed with the conditions mentioned above, such as Interstitial Cystitis (IC), or Painful Bladder Syndrome (PBS). More on that later.

Why has it been so difficult to detect and treat these infections?

There is a culprit here, so let’s take a closer look. Behind the misdiagnosis of hundreds of thousands (potentially millions) of people, are embedded chronic urinary tract infections that involve biofilms.

Biofilms And Persistent UTI

A Defintion On Live UTI FreeIn the case of a chronic urinary tract infection, a biofilm is a community of bacterial cells that stick together and adhere to the bladder wall. These cells then produce a protective slime that shields the bacterial community from antibiotics and the natural defences of the body.

Chronic Urinary Tract Infection - Simplified UTI Pathway

This goopy shield makes diagnosis and treatment very difficult. And while the bacteria are contained within their shield, the body is less likely to mount an effective response to their presence.

When bacteria are periodically released or escape from the biofilm, the body recognizes a threat. This triggers an inflammatory response, heightening symptoms of a UTI. This can be experienced as a cycle of acute symptoms, followed by periods of fewer or no symptoms.

A Quote On Live UTI Free About Recurrent UTIs“I get a UTI every month or so. In between each really bad UTI I would feel mostly better, but I’d often have sensations like another UTI was coming on. I was continually drinking water to try and prevent it, but, like clockwork, my symptoms would suddenly get much worse and I’d end up with another full blown UTI.”

We hear many people refer to this as a cycle of ‘flare ups’ or ‘episodes.’ This implies they believe it to be a continuous, chronic issue with both acute and symptom-free phases. Evidence shows they are probably right.

For those who suffer from a chronic urinary tract infection, the symptoms and ongoing pain can be debilitating, dramatically and adversely affecting their daily lives, as well as their overall mental and physical health.

How Biofilms Can Cause Your UTI Symptoms To Come And Go

Let’s compare the science of biofilms with the symptoms a sufferer of a chronic urinary tract infection may experience, using E.coli as an example pathogen:

Chronic Urinary Tract Infection - UTI Pathway Step 1
Stage OneTHE SCIENCE:
• Infection and inflammation of urinary tract caused by invasion and multiplication of bacteria or other pathogen.

HOW IT FEELS:
• UTI symptoms, eg burning when urinating, urgency
Chronic Urinary Tract Infection - UTI Pathway Step 2
Stage TwoTHE SCIENCE:
• Free-floating bacteria form a weak attachment to the bladder wall
• Antibiotics can still be effective during this stage

HOW IT FEELS:
• Without effective treatment, UTI symptoms remain as body continues to defend against the threat
Chronic Urinary Tract Infection - UTI Pathway Step 3
Stage ThreeTHE SCIENCE:
• Bacteria establish a strong attachment to the bladder wall and a protective biofilm structure begins to form
• Protection from antibiotics increases; treatment becomes more difficult

HOW IT FEELS:
• Without effective treatment, UTI symptoms remain as body defends against the threat
Chronic Urinary Tract Infection - UTI Pathway Step 4
Stage FourTHE SCIENCE:
• Free-floating bacteria are flushed from bladder via treatment or natural body defenses
• Biofilm remains intact

HOW IT FEELS:
• UTI symptoms decrease or disappear
Chronic Urinary Tract Infection - UTI Pathway Step 5
Stage FiveTHE SCIENCE:
• Biofilm community formation continues
• Protection against antibiotics increases as the biofilm develops

HOW IT FEELS:
• No UTI symptoms, or low level chronic symptoms
Chronic Urinary Tract Infection - UTI Pathway Step 6
Stage SixTHE SCIENCE:
• Biofilm detachment
• Bacteria escape biofilm and enter urine as free-floating bacteria

HOW IT FEELS:
• ‘Recurrence’ of UTI
• UTI symptoms return
Chronic Urinary Tract Infection - UTI Pathway Step 7
Stage SevenTHE SCIENCE:
• New biofilm attachments may begin to form
• Free-floating bacteria are flushed from bladder
• Without appropriate treatment, the process repeats

HOW IT FEELS:
• A cycle of ‘recurrent’ UTI as the biofilm fluxes over time

We should also note here that biofilms can be fungal as well as bacterial, and there may be more than one pathogen present in the bladder at any given time. In fact, biofilms can be complex and diverse communities of multiple pathogens.

Ruth Kriz IC treatment“These organisms like to live in communities. Biofilms are like apartment buildings, and the longer that you've had this chronic infection, the more likely it is that you have more and more residents that have come to join the party. And they like to support one another, they live synergistically. It's sort of like a ball of yarn. You have to start pulling somewhere if we're ever going to unravel this big, knotted up mess.”

Ruth Kriz, APRN

For the sake of simplicity, and because bacterial infections of the urinary tract are much more common than fungal, we’ll stick to bacteria for our examples. But keep in mind, what causes a chronic urinary tract infection in one person is very likely different from the next person.

Bacterial biofilms can also be found INSIDE the cells of the bladder wall, forming intracellular bacterial communities (IBC). In fact, evidence of IBCs was found in about one fifth of urine samples from females with acute uncomplicated symptomatic UTIs.

Fascinated? A UK research team has put together a more in depth look at how biofilms and IBCs form. You can view it here.

Can You Test For Biofilms In The Bladder?

The presence of biofilms in the bladder is not far-fetched science.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates around 80% of all bacterial infections in humans involve biofilms.

Although the existence of biofilms in human infection has been accepted in medicine for decades, it is much more recently that attention has turned to their involvement in chronic UTI.

A Doctor Quote About Recurrent UTIs On Live UTI Free “In my opinion it's pretty clear that biofilms and IBCs are a true phenomenon, and it would explain why a given patient can get what seems like a perfectly appropriate antibiotic based on antibiotic susceptibility testing from cultured bacteria. Then as soon they stop taking the antibiotic, the same exact bacterial isolate comes roaring back with the same antibiotic susceptibility. Why wasn’t it wiped out? Well, I think sometimes it's IBCs, or biofilms. And then in other cases, it may be that they've reseeded themselves from their distal guts or their vagina as well."

Dr Michael Hsieh, MD, PhD

Traditionally, testing labs have focused on culturing and testing free-floating pathogens. If free-floating pathogens are identified, their susceptibility to antibiotics is also tested while they are in a free-floating state.

Once the susceptibility has been tested, it is possible to prescribe the right treatment.

The problem with these types of tests is that they do not specifically detect biofilm formations in the bladder. And therefore, they are not helpful in deciphering which treatments may be effective against microbes within a biofilm.

To figure out how to treat a chronic urinary tract infection that involves biofilms or IBCs, it would be necessary to test different treatments on any pathogens within a biofilm or IBC, rather than on free-floating, easy-to-target pathogens.

Newer UTI Testing Options

Some advancements in testing have been made. Researchers have been able to pinpoint indicators of biofilms and IBCs in the bladder. These include filamentous bacteria and exfoliated IBCs.

This isn’t as complicated as it sounds. All the first really means is bacteria that have taken on an elongated and/or branched shape as part of a bacterial community. Exfoliated IBCs refers to bladder lining cells that contain microbes and have been shed from the bladder into the urine. Both are signs of an embedded bladder infection.

Unfortunately, this area requires a lot more research. At the moment, tests to specifically identify an embedded chronic urinary tract infection are not available to the general public.

On a more positive note, there are tests available that are more accurate than standard culturing methods.

Tests that use DNA sequencing methods, like those offered by Aperiomics and MicroGenDX, have the ability to identify microorganisms in a urine sample, regardless of whether they are free-floating or were part of a biofilm.

You can read more about the issues with standard UTI tests, and how to find alternative UTI testing options in the next sections.

Treatment protocols for chronic urinary tract infection do exist, however, specialists who can administer these are few and far between. And this type of treatment requires regular monitoring to evaluate any improvement in the embedded infection.

Learn more about persistent UTI treatment approaches here.

Is Interstitial Cystitis Linked To Frequent UTIs?

We mentioned a study above, that found that 74% of survey respondents diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis, had previously been diagnosed with recurrent UTI.

Research has also shown that a high percentage of females with Interstitial Cystitis may in fact have biofilms, IBCs, or both within their bladder, and that this is the cause of their ongoing infection and recurrent symptoms.

Interstitial Cystitis and associated conditions are considered to be incurable, however…

Interstitial Cystitis is a diagnosis of exclusion. This means IC is diagnosed in the absence of any other obvious cause. If a cause for your UTI symptoms is not identified by testing, a diagnosis of IC may be given.

Reframing A Diagnosis Of Interstitial Cystitis

We shouldn’t think of IC as a specific condition, after all, those who have been diagnosed with it experience a vast range of different symptoms. And a cause for the onset of those symptoms has not been identified.

Instead, we should think of the term as a placeholder, while we wait for a specific cause to be identified.

A diagnosis of exclusion leaves a lot of room for misdiagnosis. Some researchers now believe the insensitivity of standard testing methods may have led to large numbers of unnecessary diagnoses of IC.

A Doctor Quote About Recurrent UTIs On Live UTI Free "...if the [dipstick] test is negative, the sensitivity is such that there is no justification for claiming you do not have an infection... if the culture is negative it is again wrong to claim this proves an absence of infection; the culture is too insensitive. For these reasons, negative tests are unhelpful and a cause of terrible suffering."

Professor Malone-Lee, Whittington Hospital, UK

And this isn’t just theoretical. Hundreds of females previously diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis – that is, the absence of infection – have been able to receive better testing that has identified an infection.

With an infection identified these individuals have gained long term treatment that relieves their painful symptoms and has often led to complete resolution of the issue.

When To See A Doctor For A Chronic Urinary Tract Infection

If you’ve had a UTI previously, you are in a much better position to recognize the symptoms, and you may feel confident in what action to take.

You may even be able to take this action at the first sign of a UTI, and prevent the symptoms from escalating. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have cleared the infection. If you’ve read the fascinating tale above about chronic urinary tract infection and biofilms, you’ve probably realized that by now.

For females with a chronic urinary tract infection, it’s not just about treating isolated symptoms, it’s about breaking the cycle and eradicating the underlying cause.

How UTI Treatment Should Look

The ideal scenario wouldn’t involve a UTI at all, we get that. But once you’re on that roller coaster, you really need to find a way off safely. This is what the ride should look like…

Symptoms → Test → Results → Diagnosis → Treatment → Cure

Chronic Urinary Tract Infection - Simplified Journey of a UTI

Anyone who has experienced a chronic urinary tract infection can tell you this isn’t always how it pans out.

Instead, for many females, parts of the sequence are missing, and a cure has been out of reach. There are a number of reasons for this, which we’ve covered in the next sections, so read on!

Getting tested to discover the cause of your UTI symptoms is the best path to a permanent solution.

You should get tested if you:

  • Have had more than 2 UTIs in the last 6 months, or more than 3 UTIs in the last 12 months.
  • Are uncomfortable taking antibiotics without knowing what exactly you are treating.
  • Have recurrent UTIs and have never been tested.

And the best way to get tested is to see a doctor. Finding the right doctor, however, can also be tough. But first things first.

Now that we’ve convinced you to pursue testing, we need to tell you something…

Getting accurate testing for UTIs is extremely difficult.

So next we’ll share some frustrating facts on why this is, before providing a few tips on how to get better UTI testing. It’s always best to arm yourself with information before embarking on a journey towards better health, and you’re in the right place.

Share your questions and comments below, or get in touch with our team.

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Comments

Keri Whiteside says:

Hello, I’m a female that has had chronic UTI’s since 2010, I’ve had several cystoscopy’s and told nothing found, within the past 6 months I’ve been hospitalised due to gross hematuria with hemaglobin dropping to 5.2-6.0, given a blood transfusion with 2 units each time, had positive cultures was treateated with iv antibiotics in the hospital and P.O. antibiotics upon discharge, finish antibiotics and symptoms srart all over again with the hematuria, this finally end up with me in the ED from the clotting of blood resulting in not being able to urinate, this has a cured every month for the past six months, any suggestions?

Hi Keri, I saw you sent a direct message as well, so I’ve responded there. Susy

Neel says:

I have had “some infection” since jan 2019…. been told it’s candida, , etc. Put suppositories for candida and taken cranberry tablets …. symptoms
Disappear and reappear! Currently get a burning every other day, urine is cloudy and smells very acrid and when I need to pee I have to go instantly! What could it be and what can I do? Thank u

Hi Neel, can you send us a direct message with more info on where you’re based, so we know which resources may be most helpful? Melissa

Samantha says:

I got my first UTI in November 2018 and have had 6 (incredibly painful ones) since then. I recently found out I am allergic to Macrobid which is the only antibiotic I’ve been prescribed since my first diagnosis. What are other common antibiotics that actually work to cure UTIs? Is anyone else allergic?

Hi Samantha, we’ve explained the use of antibiotics for UTI here, if you’d like to read more. There is no specific antibiotic that will cure every UTI – it always depends on the cause, and different antibiotics are effective for different bacteria. If you have any other questions, you can always get in touch directly. Melissa

Roberta says:

Hello
Do you have any opinion of Copper IUD´s possibly increasing the recurrence of UTI´s due to the E-coli bacteria attatching them to the string of the IUD?
I have had 5 UTI´s since the beginning of 2019.

Hi Roberta, we haven’t seen any conclusive studies into the possible connection between copper IUDs and recurrent UTI. We’re always on the look out for new information though, so if you come across anything, we’d love to see it too. If you have any other questions, you can get in touch directly. Melissa

Mary says:

I’ve had 6 UTI’s since Jan 2019. I’ve seen a urologist and he said I might have IC. I’m currently keeping a food log and eliminating foods that cause flare ups. I have a follow up appt on May 15. I had a culture done in April when I had my 5th positive UTI. It was negative. I’m planning on asking for the camera catheter test for the IC. What other things do I need to ask for (test wise or other) when I have my appt. I wasn’t prepared the first time and I want to be the second time.
Thank you

Hi Mary, it’s great that you’re taking steps to prepare. If you could send us a message directly, we can share some more info that way. Susy

Julie says:

I have a UTI that won’t go away. I am on my 7th round of antibiotics and still have symptoms. I’ve also been diagnosed with IC. The UTIs have been confirmed with cultures. I’ve tried so many things in addition to antibiotics: herbal remedies/teas, diet changes etc. I am suspicious of a biofilm after reading your blog. I see a urologist but she doesn’t seem very versed on it. Do you have any recommendations?

Hi Julie, can you send us a direct message so we can share more info via email? Melissa

Lisa says:

What is the cure for the chronic or re-current UTI? I have tried many methods like cranberry juice, vitamin C and staying hydrated, however nothing seems to prevent them. What is the best course of action?

Hi Lisa, every infection is different so there is no one cure. It’s important that each person find out what is happening in their own body in order to address their individual issues. We’re told by many that finding a specialist who has experience diagnosing and treating recurrent UTI marked a turning point for them. If you’d like more info, feel free to send us a message directly. Susy

Kathy Schmidt says:

At age 68, I have approximately a new UTI every 3 weeks. I was diagnosed with MS 10 years ago. My UTIs began infrequently, and now they are out of control. I have been on so many antibiotics. About four years ago, I had bladder botox to try and relieve my incontinence. Didn’t work, made things worse. Went into retention for a few months, miserable time I might add. Since that time seems my UTIs increased. I have been hospitalized a few times for severe UTIs which in turn cause my MS to flare up. Currently being treated for my UTI …did a 6 day injection of Gentamicin and am following up injections with a daily treatment of Nitrofurantoin.

Hi Kathy, sorry to hear you’re experiencing this. If you have any specific questions, you can always reach out to us directly. Susy

Ze says:

Thanks for your article. I am a man aged 34 and I get UTIs once every couple of months! I have tried anti-biotics but the UTIs keep coming back. I have gone for kidney / bladder scans and done several urine and blood tests to confirm the UTI wasn’t caused by STDs, diabetes, etc. I found that the best solution for me was to avoid sugar and drink lots of water. However, if I don’t, the UTI predictably occurs.

Sorry to hear you’re having this experience. Feel free to get in touch directly if you’d like any specific info. Susy

Sylvia says:

I am what appears to be a healthy, toned, speeding bullet of a 64 year old woman. Friends all ask what I am doing so they can do the same.. but I have a dark secret. At 18 I peed blood a day after having sex for the first time and the downward spiral began. If I didn’t have sex I seemed to hold my own by alkalizing my system with d-mannose, baking soda before and after sex. Now in my 60’s without sex, I seem to get a UTI if I drink coffee without the required two glasses of water! Can’t even sit in a hot tub and the symptoms kick in followed my pink urine. What is going on? Help! Please!

Hi Sylvia, sorry to hear you’re experiencing this. Many people tell us that finding a practitioner experienced in diagnosing and treating recurrent UTI marked a turning point for them. You can get in touch with us directly if you’d like more info on this, or anything else in particular. Susy

Renae says:

Do you know of any cases where surgery has been the answer for chronic UTI? I have been getting 5 per year plus for many, many years and now it is becoming un-bearable. Basically every time I have sex with my boyfriend I have a flare-up. It is having a major impact on our intimacy and my everyday life. I have been told by my OBGYN that I have a short urethra and bacteria can more easily enter. I take so many herbs everyday (d-mannose, cranberry, urdva usi, goldenseal, garlic, oregano, probiotics) basically bathe in antibacterial soap before and after sex, of course pee before and after sex, and even have my partner clean his area with antibacterial soap before. Nothing works, I’m really, really at the end of my rope. Any advise you have would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Renae, sorry to hear you’re having this experience, we understand how incredibly frustrating that can be. It’s important that each person find out what is happening in their own body in order to address their individual issues in the best way. We’re told by many people that a turning point for them was finding a practitioner that has experience diagnosing and treating recurrent UTI. If you’d like more info about this, or anything else specifically, please send us a direct message and we’ll get back to you. Susy

Lynn says:

I am 68 and have had recurrent UTIs for the last 25 years. I would get 3-5 a year. Now since October I have gotten one every month. My Urologist does not have an answer as to how to stop this cycle

Hi Lynn, if you’re considering seeing another specialist, we may be able to share some useful information. Can you send us a direct message? Melissa

Lisa says:

I am 57 and just got my first UTI. I went to the doctor and was prescribed antibiotics. It got better after a couple of days but I haven’t even finished the antibiotics and it came back with a vengeance today! What do I do? Just go back to the doctor?

Hi Lisa, it’s always best to return to your doctor if your symptoms return. If you have any other questions, you can always send us a direct message. Melissa

Karen Hayes says:

How to get better UTI testing? Doctors you recommend in Portland, OR area

Hi Karen, we have some information about alternative testing methods here. If you’d like more information on practitioners whose names have been shared with us, you can send us a direct message. Melissa

Tessy says:

Could you tell me the herbal medications you took that stopped your uti and yeast infection. I have been battling with m recurrent uti and yeast infection. But I started taking probiotic and the symptoms have reduced but I am still feeling uncomfortable down there.

Smiley says:

Can you tell me about the herbal med for Uti’s

Hi Tessy, can you send me a direct message so I can provide more insight via email? Melissa

Sophie says:

Can you recommend anyone in Australia to assist me?

Hi Sophie, can you send us a direct message so we can share some Australia-specific info via email? Melissa

Georgina Matteson says:

Hi, I have suspected interstitial cystitis- I refuse to have invasive treatments down but my urologist thinks it’s probably IC. Every urine test I’ve had since November 2018 when this began has been negative. I had UTI’s years ago but they always cleared up straight away on antibiotics. It’s strange how I was fine one day- and then the next this torture began…?

Hi Georgina, what you described is an experience shared by many – negative tests that result in a diagnosis of IC. You may be interested in reading more about why standard urine tests can be negative, even when an infection is present, and alternative UTI testing methods that may provide more accurate results. Melissa

Kaytie says:

I’ve had frequent UTI’s for the past five years. I’ve been given the suggestion that I should see a urologist to better understand the source of these infections. In your experience, would a urologist be able to identify if I have an underlying problem? Or would I simply be told, “it’s common to get multiple UTI’s a year” despite the gut feeling that this isn’t something that ever REALLY goes away? I’m on a very limited income and am trying desperately to avoid being brushed aside for another whopping, waste-of-time medical bill. Thank you.

Hi Kaytie, whether a urologist can help really depends on the urologist, as with any type of practitioner. Most urologists do not specialize in recurrent UTI. If you send us a direct message and let us know your rough location, we may be able to share some helpful info. Melissa

Sherry says:

I have had 5 UTI’s since December… presently on 850 mg of amoxicillin for 14 days, have 4days left of medication and there are still times in between doses that I have symptoms that UTI is stlll there. I do have an upcoming appt with an Urologist . I’m greatly interested in receiving information on how to treat biofilms. Your assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Hi Sherry, we have some information about different recurrent UTI treatment approaches here. If you have specific questions, you can always send us a direct message. Melissa

Penny says:

I’ve had three UTI since December and started to get symptoms that would come and go last month which resulted in a kidney infection last week. Before he kidney infection I had gone to my doctor multiple times and she informed me that my urines samples were fine. Even after a strong dose of ten day course of ciprofloxacin I am still getting recurring burning. I honestly can’t live like this anymore I have so much anxiety regarding getting a UTI after sex and take all preventions but it doesn’t work. It’s affecting my mental health terribly I’m so tired of it.

Hi Penny, I can sympathise with everything you wrote. Have you read our info about why standard UTI tests may be negative, despite your symptoms? We’ve also provided details on different types of testing you may want to try. Any other questions you have, you can send via a direct message. Melissa

Judy j says:

I have recurrent uti’s. I have been on many courses of antibiotics and the UTI keeps coming back. I am tired of so many antibiotics.

Hi Judy, I can sympathise with your frustration. If you have any questions, you can always send us a direct message. Melissa

Nadia says:

Have been suffering with recurring UTIs, UTI symptoms over 4 years. Recently diagnosed with IC after a negative cystoscopy, urodynamic testing, MRI. Haven’t responded to PT, Tibial nerve stimulation and am currently receiving bladder instillation treatment. Have had 6 treatments and thus far no drastic improvement. Any advice would be helpful?

Hi Nadia, you may find it useful to review our information about why standard UTI testing is unreliable, and alternative testing methods you could consider. We’ve also covered some treatment approaches. If you have specific questions, you can send us a direct message. Melissa

Simona says:

My almost 5 year old daughter has been diagnosed with recurrent UTI’s as she had 3 since December. She was given three different antibiotics but none helped her or made the e-coli bacteria disappear. She was now prescribed a strong antibiotic, which I am not sure I should give her, due to the side effects. (Nitrofurantoin). I am looking for any suggestions as I am very worried for her. She’s not even 5 and has already had so many UTI’s. And pumping her with antibiotics apparently doesn’t help her at all. She is due for an ultrasound scan to see if there is something that causes the UTI to come back.

Shelley Caskanette says:

Hi I had this problem as a child as well they found reflux which is urine backing back up into the kidney instead of voiding out through bladder. Am hoping things for well with doc but don’t give up if they brush it off keep pushing for an answer.

Hi Simona, I saw you also sent us a direct message, so I’ve emailed you some information. Melissa

Anne says:

I have had a UTI a couple of times now in the past 6 months. Both times cultured E coli. I have a sulfa allergy so have been treated with Macrobid. Symptoms continue to return. What is the next step and what kills a biofilm?

Hi Anne, you might be interested in reading our info about recurrent UTI treatment and alternative testing methods. Hopefully these will provide insight into avenues you may want to consider. Melissa

Francisco says:

I want to know the best treatment of UTI persisted for more than one year and three months

Hi Francisco, there is no single treatment that will work for recurrent UTI. There are many factors to consider. You might like to read more about testing options, and different treatment approaches. Then if you have any questions, you can send us a direct message. Melissa

Simona says:

My 4 year old daughter has bee recently diagnosed with Recurrent UTI’s – she’s had 3 UTI’s in the last 4 months. The culture came out e-coli twice. She was given antibiotics, and recently a stronger one as she did not respond well to the treatment. She’s having accidents every single day and we’re looking for any solution as we can’t just pump her little body with so many different antibiotics. Thank you.

Hi Simona, sorry to hear that. If you have any specific questions, you can send us a direct message and we’ll respond via email. It’s also helpful to know where you’re based so we know which resources may be relevant. Melissa

Carla Kennedy says:

After 6 rounds of different antibiotics, i still have a UTI infection. My doctor can’t help and the consultant wasn’t particularly nice and just ordered a ultrasound scan, which I’m still waiting for. I have been E&R twice but after negative cultures I just get given another round of antibiotics, which is a two day course of apparently strong antibiotic, but symptoms are coming back. Very worried, I’m only 32 years old and never suffered before with UTI. Any suggestions please.

Hi Carla, if you haven’t already, you may like to read our info on why test results can be negative, despite UTI symptoms. You can also send a us a direct message if you have any questions. Melissa

Alex T says:

I’ve had hundreds of UTI’s since I became sexually active (14 years ago.) I’ve been prescribed a low dose antibiotic to take after intercourse. It’s helped, I had only 1 UTI in 9 months – a record for me. I have done everything, the antibiotics, I drink 4/5 Liters of water a day (naturally, I’m just a thirsty person) I go to the bathroom after sex, I take the cranberry tablets, I shower at least twice a day, I know how to wipe front to back…I have literally done everything. And STILL I have just had an infection, finished 2 weeks of antibiotics…1 week later, feel like it’s come back. What else can I do? I’m so sick of pumping my body full of these medications and half the time they don’t work.

Hi Alex, I can sympathize. It sounds as though the information covered in the article above may be useful for you, given what you’re describing. If you have any questions about it, you can send me a direct message. Melissa

Andrea says:

I have had recurring UTIs for the last 3 years…EVERY 6 WEEKS! Some culture out as e.coli, others do not culture at all. I have tried antibiotics when it became unbearable and after the prescribed course ended, 6 weeks later – another UTI. The urologist recommended a 6 month course of low dose antibiotics and I succumbed. Felt great for 6 months with hope that the cycle would be broken. 6 weeks after finishing the antibiotics…another UTI!
Researching alternative treatments is overwhelming. Considering taking Interfase Plus or Lauricidin as a biofilm disruptor. Any advice on how to proceed with either a biofilm treatment, or a practitioner that could guide me would be appreciated. Obviously, antibiotics are not solving the problem and I would prefer not to take them. Thank you!

Hi Andrea, can you send us a direct message with this info and let us know where you’re based? We can share any useful resources via email. Melissa

Sheri Henson says:

My Mother is 83 and has had Chronic UTI for 6 months now. Not getting better and I am afraid she is getting real tired. It’s gonna kill her. Dr. keeps giving antibiotics and they make her so sick. Never completely clears up. Should we be looking for a specialist to get this figured out.

Hi Sheri, many people say the turning point for them was finding the right practitioner to help. We may be able to share some useful information if you can send us a direct message and let us know where your mother is based. Melissa

Maricela Rodriguez says:

I have had Recurrent UTIs for the past year. I had at least six episodes within four months and then I managed my symptoms. When I drink coffee, alcohol, or consume I have to be mindful and drink so much water. This is exhausting, Im very interested in getting my urine tested for biofilms. I have seen a urologist and had so many tests done. People start to think your crazy or practice bad hygiene but recurring infections are a real thing and I would love nothing more than to treat the underlying cause

Hi Maricela, we hear many similar stories, and it’s a very frustrating situation! We’d love to hear about any progress you make, and if there’s any resources you’d like us to share, you can send us a direct message. Melissa

Ana Valdivia says:

I never had a uti until I got pregnant with my second baby, in 2017. I probably had about 10 uti minimum I can remember. I felt miserable. After he was born uti symtoms fade away. Until now that he is 14 months. I got another Uti. Was given two sets of antibiotics and i just feel I’m getting another one today. I really like to get tested for biofilms. Please can u send me information. Thank you !

Hi Ana, I got your direct message too, and have replied with more information there. Melissa

Joe Peyton says:

Hi, I have a yeast infection of the toenails, dysuria, and cystitis. I’m a 27-year-old male so the doctors said it was rare for me to get a UTI. I told the doctors that I might have got the UTI when I was rubbing the shaft of my penis in the show because it then became inflamed and I had to use the toilet. Now that I have the UTI I have difficulty starting a urine stream and the doctors can’t figure it out. Do you think its obstruction or a bladder muscle injury that’s causing the urine to not come out in a strong stream? Please let me know what you think and if there is anything or anyone I could see to fix it. Thanks in advance.

Hi Joe, can you send us a direct message with more info on where you’re based so we can share more information via email? Melissa

Ruth Ruppe says:

Very sorry I did not tell you but I am in Raleigh North Carolina

Ruth Ruppe says:

I found your article interesting. I was diagnosed with IC many years ago. I suffer with symptoms all the time if I drink coffee ,white wine ,etc. One thing you did not mention is the diagnosis of IC after having a cystoscopy and having the Hunar ulcers identified. Honestly, I would love to not have IC, however what do you do and where do you get different types of urinary testing?
Thank you, Ruth

Hi Ruth, you’re right, we have not mentioned Hunner’s ulcers and this is mainly because most specialists we speak with indicate that much more research is needed before we truly know whether these ulcers are linked to infection or something else entirely. We hope to cover this more in the future. We have some more information about alternative testing here, but if you have specific questions about it, please feel free to get in touch with me directly. Melissa

Mary Jo says:

On-going problems with this. Hoping to get help here.

Hi Mary, can you send us a direct message with a little more info, so we know better how we can help? Melissa

Sheher bano says:

Hi,
My vagina is dry from inside it has shrunk in size from one side i feel as if something leaks in a small amount from it but i do not get any odor and colour of the discharge. Should i still be worried?

Hi Sheher, it’s always best to see a doctor to discuss any symptoms that concern you. If there any UTI related resources we can help with, you can send me a direct message with any questions. Melissa

Heidi says:

I have been on at least eight antibiotics since October. As soon as I’m done with antibiotic I have a reoccurrence within a month. I am also a metastatic breast cancer patient. It’s so frustrating. How do I get tested for biofims

Hi Heidi, are you able to send me a direct message with more info on your location so I can share details via email in response? Thanks, Melissa

Valerie Swift says:

My daughter lives in Las Vegas and has been diagnosed with IC. She hasn’t been able to find a good urologist for her. Can you recommend someone. Thank you. Valerie Swift

Hi Valerie, can you ask your daughter to send me a direct message, if she hasn’t already? I can share more info with her via email. Melissa

Shanna says:

I requested a referral to a urologist this week. I live in the greater Philly area. Would you happen to recommend a provider in this area?

Hi Shanna, at the moment we don’t know of any recurrent UTI specialists in PA, but we can share some info regarding telemedicine options, or surrounding states, if you send us a direct message. Melissa

Terri Crawford says:

Are there any uti specialists in northern Colorado? I have been to the UC Health Urology Clinic and seen several different doctors there. None of them seem to know much about this condition. They just want to keep throwing different antibiotics at it which make me feel very sick.

Hi Terri, if you’d like to get in touch directly, I can share more information. Susy

Vanessa says:

I’m on the UTI rollercoaster. Have been diagnosed with IC, but antibiotics are the only thing that make me feel better. I’m sure it’s chronic and due to biofilms. Any specialists in Canada you can recommend to address this?

Hi Vanessa, if you’d like to get in touch directly, I can share the info we have so far. Susy

Mary Lash says:

Are there any uti specialists in northern Indiana (South Bend or nearby)?

Hi Mary, at the moment we don’t know of any in that region. I can share more info about possible options via email, if you send me a direct message. Melissa

Nancy Williams says:

I have had over 300 UDoTIs over the past 52 years. I have my own regimin plus macrodantin daily, but have had 3 infections in the past 3 months. I am exhausted. My urologist has run out of ideas. Can you refer me to someone in NW Washington?

Hi Nancy, can you send me a direct message so I can share more information via email? Melissa

Nicky Ryles says:

I am a 43 year old woman at my wits end.I’ve suffered for 25years with persistant UTIs.I had a much needed break from symptoms when I had my children then out of the blue 3 years ago they came back with vengeance.I have had about 10 utis in 2018.A lovely GP put me on vagifem and I’ve had a 3month break from symptoms untill today.I cannot function with this.I just want to have a normal life.I have read so much info over the years and been referred twice to urologists who didn’t have answers.
I’m in the uk.Please could you recommend a urologist to help me?

Hi Nicky, can you send me a direct message so I can share more UK based information via email? Melissa

JohnnieKay says:

I am 68 yr old. I have been having what I would consider to be chronic uti’s for about 15 yrs now. Especially the last 6 years. I did have a 10 month relief for some reason last year but it’s back with a vengeance. My current one started in October. I’ve had Cipro, Bactrim, 3 Rocephin shots, and currently on my 6th day of 100 mg Macrobid twice daily with no relief. I have an upcoming appt with a urologist who 2 years ago told me “I don’t know what you want me to do” so I’m not looking forward to returning. I’m weary and mentally and physically drained. My head hurts every day as well as the uti symtpoms. Can you suggest anything?

Hi Johnnie, it’s very frustrating when it feels as though no one can help. Can you send me an email so I can share more resources that way? Melissa

Matt says:

This is for my 82 year old grandmother she has been getting uti for about 20+ years or so, at first she would get them every couple of years then every 6 months and now she gets them every 1 to 3 months sometimes sooner, I need to know about doctors in northern california. thanks!

Hi Matt, sorry to hear your grandmother is experiencing that. I’ve sent you an email with some more information about practitioners. Hopefully it helps. Melissa

Mahea says:

I am a paraplegic with neurogenic bladder and self cathe for the past 12 months every 30 days I get a painful and sonsickninjabe to be hospitalize . Klebsiella is the bacterial been taking invanz iv and it goes away but makes so sick to my stomach I can’t eat and the nausea and pain is unbearable at this point it has taken over my life I have no enjoyment but suffering and pain . Seen a neurologist and they said it’s chronic and I have to keep taking the same meds cause I am allergic to penicillin. Please help me o am at my ends and I have hit rock bottom with the grace of god I hope you can help me . I live in Hawaii.

Hi Mahea, I saw you also sent me a direct message, so I’ll respond now via email. Melissa

Sarah says:

Hi, i’ve had recurring UTIs for the last two years. At some point I would get them every 3 weeks. I thought it was because i also have piles, so I started cleaning myself thoroughly after poop. I actually had a 4 month break after that! But the cycle seems to have started all over again. I’m fed up hearing about hygiene and drinking more water from doctors, I mean, I should know better than not to drink lots of water… i have read your article about biofilms. How do I get treatment in case these biofilms are the culprits?

Hi Sarah, I can sympathise with your frustration over being told basic things that clearly make no impact for you. We have more information about recurrent UTI treatment options here. We may also be able to share names of some practitioners, if you provide further information via direct message about your location. Melissa

Linda says:

I have started having back to back UTIs, with E Coli being the culprit. I took 2 weeks of Cipro, and it never really cleared. 2 days later, I started back with the symptoms. I am a diabetic on Insulin. Could this be the cause, and what do I do now?

Hi Linda, research indicates that the risk of UTI is higher in individuals with diabetes, so it’s possible it is a factor. It may be helpful to see a practitioner that specializes in chronic UTI, to discuss this with them. We may be able to share some names if you send a direct message with more information on your location. Melissa

Pat Leatherwood says:

Where to find doctors in or near East Tennessee.

Hi Pat, so far we haven’t had any recommendations for practitioners in Tennessee. I can share some names of practitioners who offer telemedicine, if that interests you. If so, you can send me a direct message and I’ll provide these via email. Melissa

Shannon says:

Hi, I could really use your help if you have any names of doctors in my area. The last doctor (a male) I went to basically laughed at me and told me it was all in my head. I have been suffering for about 20 years. Antibiotic after antibiotic and nothing. Calms it down but never gets rid of it. Anything you can help with would be really appreciated. Thank you
Shannon

Hi Shannon, so sorry to hear you’ve also experienced the dismissal of being told this is in your head. We hear far too many stories about those types of comments. Can you send me an email with more info on where you’re located so I can share any info that may help? Melissa

Laura Wills says:

I am currently with professor malone lee and in a support group on Facebook.
I thought I had read you cannot get an acute uti on top of a chronic one but someone on the page said they have been to gps and had ecoli come back from the lab and clarithomycin she is on didn’t touch it so she had to take seven days of trim on top of her antibiotic.
So can you indeed have an a cute uti on top of a chronic one? Many thanks , laura

Hi Laura, theoretically, (and based on current research) there’s no reason you couldn’t get a new infection in addition to an existing infection. Having said that, chronic UTI specialists would most likely suggest that the flare of symptoms and the positive test results may be part of the normal cycle of an infection involving a biofilm. We’ve explained this concept here, above. As a biofilm erupts periodically, it may cause symptoms to worsen, and the bacteria that escape my be identified by testing. I see you also emailed me, so I’ll respond there too. Melissa

Diane says:

My mother has had chronic uti for the past 4 years. She has seen so many doctors but no help. It seems antibiotics are not working anymore. Where can we find a specialist that deals with chronic uti in the Tampa bay area of Florida?

Hi Diane, are you able to send us a direct message, so I can share further information via email? Melissa

Kelley Weld says:

How do I know if I’m seeing the right practitioner? I have an appointment with a urologist but don’t want to continue being treated unsuccessfully with antibiotics. Is there a list of recommended providers in the Maryland / DC Metro area?

Hi Kelley, there’s no specific criteria for finding the right practitioner, a lot of it comes down to personal preference – whether you feel as though you are being listened to, and how confident you are they can help. I can share a few names in the area you mentioned, if you send me a direct message. We don’t publish names on our site as we don’t recommend specific practitioners. We collect information from other recurrent UTI sufferers who have found someone helpful, then pass them on if requested. Melissa

Maria Bustillos says:

I have had reoccuring UTIs for the past 7 years. They would get tested and come back positive I would be given antibiotics and the problem would go away. They would come back I would get tested it would come back negative yet the symptoms remain.I read the article and I did not see any answer as to how to detect and get rid of them. I’m in the comment section because I just finished reading the article. it is stated in so many different places that there are no real answers yet as to how to get rid of them.Are there any doctors that have knowledge of this in either Washington State or California or possibly Montana, where I reside?

Hi Maria, at the moment we don’t know of any chronic UTI specialists in Montana. There are a few who offer telemedicine if you’re interested in this option. We may be able to share some useful information regarding Washington State and California. If you’d like further details, you can send us a direct message. Melissa

Angie says:

I have been suffering with these since March, and each time I stop the antibiotic they come back. I am getting fevers and chills when they come back that are even more miserable and seem to be worse each time. I’m seeing a Cleveland Clinic doctor soon, they are supposed to be #1 in Urology so I’m hopeful they can help?? Any idea if they do this type of testing?

Hi Angie, the type of testing used tends to vary by doctor as well as clinic, so we’re unable to shed any light on this. If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out directly. Melissa

Tammi says:

I have experienced 5 UTI “like” symptoms since December last year. 3 times the UA came back positive & treated with antibiotics. The last 2 the UA came back negative but I was prescribed antibiotics and the symptoms went away. I live in Roseville, CA but currently on vacation in Sheridan MT & will return home this Saturday. Trying essential oils in water & Tylenol to the lessen the symptoms to get me home.

Hi Tammi, as you may have read, negative UTI test results are not uncommon. Standard testing is significantly inaccurate. If you’re after more information about specialists in CA, or any other resources, you can send us a message. All the best for your travels in the meantime. Melissa

Madison Faulkner says:

I have been getting a UTI for what seems almost every 2-3 months, and I really have no clue what is causing it. I have been tested for STD’s and I drink plenty of water.

Hi Madison, you might like to read more about UTI testing, and recurrent UTI treatment. This could shed some light on what you’re experiencing. If you have any questions, you can always get in touch directly. Melissa

Faith Spalding says:

I have had chronic uti for more than 50 years with very little relief. I now have a severe case of Pancytopenia. As you can imagine I have had most antibiotics known to man. Could the Pancytopenia be related to the chronic infection? I am currently receiving two to three blood transfusions per week. Help!

Hi Faith, that’s a very interesting question, and one I would love to know the answer to as well. It’s probably best asked of a recurrent UTI specialist. If you’d like some suggestions on how to find one, feel free to send me a direct message, with more information on where you’re located. Melissa

Debra Ouellette says:

Hi Melissa,

I have had a persistent Ecoli UTI for a year now..I an currently resistent to all but two oral medications and neither of those get rid of this infection. Is there anyone in Connecticut?

Hi Debra, can you send me a direct message so I can share more info that may help you find a practitioner? Melissa

Sharon Vincent says:

I have been having recurring bladder infections for over 2 years. I am on my third urologist, one moved out of state. Is having a serious impact on my quality of life and my ability to work. I’m afraid to drink before traveling to work or before leaving to go home. How do I find a specialist I live near New York City please help.

Hi Sharon, at the moment we don’t have any specialists on our list that are based in NYC, however, I can share some info via email that may help you find one nearby. Can you send me a direct message if you’d like me to send further details? Melissa

Tracy says:

Sounds like my issue. Can you recommend a doctor in north Jersey?

Hi Tracy, I can share some more info via email, that may help you find a doctor in Jersey. Are you able to send me a direct message with a little more information? Melissa

Margo Cooke says:

Count me in. Is there anyone in Ontario Canada that specializes in this. Seen two different urologists with two completely different treatments. Neither treatment permanent.

Hi Margo, at the moment we don’t have any practitioners on our list who are based in Canada. We’re working on it. There are a few based in the US that offer telemedicine if you’re interested in that option. If you’d like further details, you can send me a direct message. Melissa

Dominique says:

I just finished Bactrim (after switching from Macrobid) for my UTI and was fine for a day and symptoms are slowly creeping back. It’ll be two weeks soon. How should I proceed? Waiting on culture results.

Hi Dominique, it’s always best to discuss returning symptoms with your doctor. If you feel they are unable to help you further, it may be best to look for a practitioner who can. I can share further information via email, if you send me a direct message. Melissa

Gibran Locati says:

I have read quite a bit of the information on this site. If i am understanding what i have read correctly the information is saying that if my urine culture comes back negative that doesn’t necessarily mean i dont have a UTI? I havethe symptoms and i know what it feels like and my when they do they urine dip test etc it always shows i have a UTI but cultures come back negative.

Hi Gibran, that is correct. Standard urine cultures have been shown to be very inaccurate. We have an article about this topic specifically, if you’d like to read it. Many people who reach out to us have received negative culture results despite their symptoms, so you are not alone in that. Melissa

Karen King says:

I’ve had 12 uti’s in 8 months and my friend told me I may have bladder cancer as the thing happened to her

Hi Karen, many people experience multiple UTIs in the space of months and have no identified physical abnormalities, but it’s always best to speak with your doctor about recurrent UTI, to rule out other causes such as this. If there’s anything we can help with, you can message us directly and we’ll get back to you asap. Melissa

Mary says:

I have been searching for a specialist who can treat chronic uti’s. I am in northern Indiana. Can you suggest someone, please.

Hi Mary, I saw you sent us a direct message too, so I’ve replied to that with some further information. Melissa

Doreen says:

I have had the same experience as the last poster and would like to ask the same questions! Chronic uti specialist and biofilm locations

Hi Doreen, are you able to send me a direct message with more info on where you’re based and any other specific questions you have? Melissa

Elise says:

I have been dealing with the same infection for over six months and I’m starting to become resistant to abx. Where do I find a chronic UTI specialist?? Or someone that works with biofilms?

Hi Elise, sorry to hear about that. Can you send me a message directly with more info on where you are based so I can check whether we have any relevant info for you? Melissa

Gift says:

I have been having chronic UTI for 3years now,at first I went for test but nothing was found, doctor gave m injections and some drugs then but now it came back,I have taking so many antibiotics, it keep on appearing and disappearing, frequent urinating and pains while urinating pls what do I do? I need ur help

Hi Gift, if you haven’t already, you may like to read more about why your test results may be negative despite your symptoms. If you’re considering seeing a chronic UTI specialist, you can send me a message and let me know where you’re based. Then I can share further information that may help. Melissa

Jane Reesor says:

I have suffered for 4 yrs with uti every month. Not always the same bacteria. Had cysto..ct etc. Can you have biofilm if the bacteria is different each time? Does a bladder wash that the dr performs help? I need something!

Hi Jane, biofilms are very likely to contain multiple types of bacteria – both good and bad – so it is possible a biofilm is involved when test results return different microorganisms. I’m not sure what type of bladder was you’re referring to. You can send me message directly with more info if you like. Melissa

Maria Abruzzese says:

16 years ago I suffered constantly with uti, urine came back negative for infection I was put on antibiotics but symptoms returned. I went private and had a urethral dilation nothing for 15 years. 2 weeks ago it came back, went to my GP they put me on a course but symptoms were still there throughout so went back was put on a different course but same thing!! Do you think I need another urethral dilation? They say the operation is performed because the urethra has experienced trauma. When I was 11 I was misdiagnosed an ovarian cyst, it grow rapidly to the size of a football sat on my bladder so I peed myself. When I had it removed it had crushed one half of my Fallopian tubes and ovaries but never had a uti until 11 years later so what do you think? I live in the uk and I’m 38.

Hi Maria, can you send me a direct message with more info about whether you’ve had testing that has identified the cause of your recent symptoms? I can also share more info about getting treatment in the UK. Melissa

Helen says:

I’ve had uti’s in the past for a couple years not but since March they have been really bad. My gynecologist tested my urine and told me I have biofilms and has been treating me for the uti but it’s exhausting. I went 3 months straight on different antibiotics and it messed up my stomach so i’ve taken a break. My symptoms have flared up again so i’m Thinking about getting tested again. However, I’m wondering if maybe I should see a urologist instead? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Hi Helen, a urologist may not be the best option – it depends whether they have experience (and an interest) in recurrent and chronic UTI. If you like, you can send me a direct message and let me know where you’re based. I may be able to share more information about chronic UTI specialists you can access. Melissa

Mindy says:

I have been having Chronic UTI’s for 40 years. Crazy sounding, I know, but I simply bounced from Urologist to another, to Infectious Disease Doc to another Urologist. I now have Chronic Kidney Disease as a result of the years of infections. Each month I have about 1 week symptom free. The rest are different stages of the UTI. I take a 2 week course of antibiotics to lessen the symptoms. I now believe the bacteria are embedded in my bladder wall (thanks to this and other websites). I live in the U.S. and doctors look at me like I’m crazy when I bring up this research. Any treatment resources in the U.S. would be so helpful. I’m losing hope that I will ever be well.

Hi Mindy, it doesn’t sound crazy to me. I have spoken with many people who have suffered from recurrent or chronic UTI for decades. You’re not alone in that! Can you send me a direct message so I can share more info about specialists that may be helpful? Melissa

Randi Muhlena says:

I’m 28 years old I’ve been getting uti’s for 10 years but since I’ve been married they’ve been non stop, in the last year I’ve been hospitalized 2 times for Kinney infections in the ICU. I’ve been to several dr’s none of which can tell me what’s going on just more antibiotics. I’m sooooooo tired of being sick! I have just found out that my fulopian tubes are blocked and I just want to have a baby :’ ( The dr. Wants to do exploratory surgery to see what’s going on inside. I would just love answers and to be healthy again so I could get pregnant!!

Hi Randi, sorry to hear you’re experiencing that. Can you send me a message with more info about where you’re based? I may be able to share some useful resources. Melissa

Dolly C Carnine says:

Everything you have written is exactly what I have experienced since April 2018 and before.(my first UTI occurred 10 years ago) It has been on going, from one doctor to the next.
Although the last doctor prescribed some addition meds.
I still have a UTI .

Hi Dolly, the problem is far too common. So many people share similar experiences. Hopefully you’re able to find a resolution to your symptoms soon. Melissa

Amber says:

I’m 23 and I’ve been getting UTIs for years I get them some years once a month other times it’ll be every 2 months I think the longest I’ve gone without UTI within the last 5 years is 6 months MAX! I can’t afford a urologist so have to go to the ER for antibiotics just to get me over ! And I hate taking antibiotics bc they come along with yeast infection

Hi Amber, you’re not alone in that experience, and it can be very frustrating! If there are any particular resources you’re looking for, you can send me a message directly and I’ll share anything I can. Melissa

Brandy says:

Hi! Im 35 years old and I started having UTI’s when I was 20. I would get them back to back for months then nothing and that cycle continued until I started having babies. My first pregnancy I had gotten a kidney with no prior signs of a UTI. 3 more pregnancies go by with no issues. Im no longer having babies and low and behold they rear their ugly heads again! I’ve heard 3 UTI’s since March! Grrr. I finally have a referral to an oncologist (I think that’s the right word) and I really want any info that can help me on this journey to figuring this all out. I would felt appreciate any and all info, so I can go loaded with info. Also a side note, I have not been referred to a specific doctor yet. Thank you!

Hi Brandy, sorry for the delayed response. There are a couple of resources you may like to share with your doctor – I can email these to you if you send me a message. I may also be able to provide some info on chronic UTI specialists if you’re still looking. Melissa

Sheila Burns says:

HI! I am 54 and have had UTI’s most of my adult life. I found the information on biofilm fascinating and affirming of what I have experienced. Is there a practitioner in Maryland who might be helpful. Also..is seeking care from a urologist recommended. Thank you!

Hi Sheila, most urologists specialize in complicated UTI and surgery, and are not experts in chronic UTI. Regardless of the type of practitioner you seek out, it’s always best to do some research into whether they have experience diagnosing and treating chronic UTI. I can send you some more info by email if you get in touch here. Melissa

Marina says:

Hi! I’m 20 years old and had my first UTI less than a month ago. I got it treated, but now I’m having symptoms of another one already! I’m nervous I’m going to be getting them all the time now. I don’t have the money to be treating them every month!

Hi Marina, it’s possible the treatment was insufficient or incorrect, and it’s always best to return to your doctor to discuss your options. We also have some info on recurrent UTI treatment approaches that may be helpful. If you have specific questions, you can reach us directly here. Melissa

Addy says:

Hi! I am 22 years old, and have been suffering from symptoms of a UTI for a year. After my first UTI, I was put on antibiotics, which helped. 6 months later, I got another UTI and was put on more antibiotics. This round of antibiotics helped but then led me to what appeared to be a yeast infection. I was in pain, and discomfort, and it wasn’t until I took Diflucan that my symptoms cleared slightly. Since then, some days are good, and others are bad. Usually 24 hours after having sex it will hurt to pee and my urine will have a foul smell. I experience a lingering burning sensation, or random urge to pee when I don’t have to. I try to flush my symptoms out of my system, but no one seems to be able to properly diagnose me, and I just want to find some relief.

Hi Addy, most practitioners do not specialize in chronic UTI and are unable to help. If you’re interested in discussing your options with practitioners who do diagnose and treat chronic UTI, you can send me a message and let me know where you’re located. I may be able to share useful information. Melissa

Cy says:

Hi I have been reading the comments left by others and can relate to all of them , I have suffered for years with reoccurring problems . Mine seems to get bad and then go away for awhile only to come back again. Have seen many dr. Over the years . It seem to be under control for awhile now is back on a regular cycle .

Hi Cyndi, if there are any particular resources you’d like – studies, practitioners etc, feel free to send us a message directly and we’ll share what we can. Melissa

Eileen Howard says:

I’ve been suffering with constant uti with years and no one seems can help me I had the camera in my bladder didn’t show anything ..blood and infection show up all the on the dip sticks in Dr surgery but she sends them away to grow but it doesn’t grow anything ..I am sick with a lot of them with temp and end up in bed ..I not able to plan anything in case I get sick ..even work is suffering ..the antibiotic helps but doesn’t take it away can anybody help me ..I’ve tried everything

Hi Eileen, I can understand your frustration. An explanation for your negative urine culture tests could be contained in our article about why that happens more than it should (there’s a good chance the test is just wrong). If you’d like to send me a direct message and let me know where you’re based, I may be able to share details of chronic UTI experts that might be helpful. Melissa

Tina says:

Hi
I’ve always had UTI’s here and there my entire life, but I know to do my best to flush my system and the symptoms will go away on their own.

A month and a half ago I started taking Topamax as an anti-seizure medication and I have had UTI symptoms pretty much non-stop since then. Once I think I’ve kicked the issue, the symptoms return with a vengeance. When I brought this up to my neurologist, she told me to take antibiotics to get rid of the infection since my records show I’m susceptible to UTI’s… I feel helpless and like that’s not the answer, as I’m not a huge fan of taking antibiotics.

Is it possible I’m not crazy and the medication is somehow to blame for this?? I’m currently weighing my options to rid the issue.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Hi Tina, we hear from a number of people whose symptoms change (for better or worse) with different medications but it’s impossible to comment on any specific one. If you like, you can send me a message with more info about your experience and perhaps I can share some useful resources about different approaches. Melissa

Ursula says:

Hi
I’m 71 have repeated Kidney infections for the last 3 years.
Every 2 months.taking long term antibiotic still get infections.
Can anybody help
Thanks

I feel so upset and down now
I’ve seen urologist and GP

Hi Ursula, sorry to hear you’re experiencing that, you’re definitely not alone. Are you able to send me direct message and let me know where you’re located so I can share further resources? Melissa

Mary G. says:

Hi there. I’m a 52 year old female and am on my 4th UTI in 7 months. Prior to this, I had only one UTI in my life. I recently saw a Urologist who performed a Cystoscopy and said everything looked fine with my bladder but is sending me for a scan on my kidneys. He did mention that some women do experience an increase in UTIs at Menopause so I’m not sure if that’s the culprit. I’m concerned about constantly having to take antibiotics and don’t know how much longer I can deal with the pain and burning. 🙁 Any suggestions on next steps? Thank you!

Hi Mary, I can send you some studies about the increased risk of UTI after menopause, and the ways that treatment may differ, if you’d like to read them. If so, you can send me a direct message so I can share via email. Melissa

Gena Rinberger says:

Hello I am a 35 yr old female and have always had uti’s but here in the last year they have gotten worse. It seems like everytime after intercourse I seem to get symptoms or a full blown uti if I dont take Uristat to calm my bladder. I seem to get them every week and have symptoms every week and some weeks more severe than others. I drink mostly Gatorade and just a little bit of sweet tea. I flush my system as best as I can when I feel symptoms coming on and sometimes it seems to work other times it does not and I have to go and get antibiotics but they will give me antibiotics before they truly know if it is positive or negative. Most of the time they are negative and they can’t tell me why.
Any suggestions that might help?

Hi Gena, we have some information on why tests can be negative despite your symptoms, and other types of testing you can try. If you have any questions about these, feel free to contact me. Melissa

noorani says:

hi im 25 years old ive been struggling with recurring infections for two years , my gp has tried all kinds of antibiotics they dont always work , iv been to a gynae that told me i have mild pcos and that i should lay off the antibiotics , but every month after my period i start getting a yellow discharge with bad lower back and dont know what to do

Hi Noorani, can you get in touch with a little more info so I can share resources that might be useful? Melissa

Cheyanne says:

Hi I’m 22 years old and for years I’ve had utis back to back. I get one then go to the er in so much pain. I’d finish my antibiotics and I’ll be okay for a few days then I’ll get another one. Some doctors are shocked when I’ve came in and had one so bad that they couldn’t believe I wasn’t feverish…. I just have birth 3 months ago and during the whole pregnancy Ive only haved 1 but now it’s starting again. This is definitely not what I want to deal with for the rest of my life. Having them every week or 2 will drive someone crazy. Doctors can’t seem to figure it out. Everything looks normal to them

Hi Cheyanne, you’re not alone in this experience. So many people have ended up in a cycle of chronic UTI, many of them because of inaccurate testing. You may need to pursue alternatives such as advanced testing, or working with a chronic UTI specialist. I saw you sent me an email so I’ll send more info there. Melissa

Dolly Carnine says:

I can relate to what everyone has written.
I can’t remember how long I have had this problem?? More than TEN years for sure.!!!
What can we do?
I’m ready to fight!! This is awful that so many women have been suffering.
Keep me posted. God help us!!
Sincerely, Dolly Carnine

Hi Dolly, it certainly takes a lot of fight to advocate for yourself and find answers! I saw you emailed me, so I’ve replied with some more info there. Melissa

Andi says:

hi there, I’m a 32 year old female. When I met my husband 5 years ago, I started getting UTI’s more frequently. I went to a few urologists and they recommended taking an antibiotic every time we had sex. I wasn’t super comfortable with it, but just wanted the cycle to stop. And it did help! But overall, I didn’t like that I was taking antibiotics so frequently, so I stopped. Since December, I have had (pretty much) non stop issues. Sometimes, full blown painful UTI’s, but mostly small amounts of discomfort here and there. At the beginning of the year I had a cystoscopy, and the doctor said everything looked normal anatomically and inside my bladder. I really don’t want to keep turning to antibiotics.

Hi Andi, we have some info on why the use of prophylactic antibiotics is questionable, so you’re not alone in your concern there. We’re working on some new content about UTIs related to sex, but in the meantime, if you send me a message I can share more there. You also might like to read more about advanced testing and treatment. Melissa

Angela says:

Does Uqora help? I have heard good things about this product?

Hi Angela, we don’t recommend specific products on our site. For any product, it’s best to research the individual ingredients, and look to see if the product has been tested in any studies before making a decision whether to try it. If it helps, we have some information about popular home remedies, with links to studies where they are available. Melissa

Lauren P. says:

Hello! I am a 31 y/o female. I’ve suffered from chronic UTI since 2011. It has taken such a huge toll on my quality of life. I’ve started a regimen of probiotics, regular d-mannose intake, and NAC daily. Regarding the NAC – it appears that this potentially makes UTI symptoms worse before they get better. I am accurate in saying/thinking that? I’ve noticed over the past 2 weeks since the NAC kicked in that the symptoms pop up every 2 days or so. This is without having sex or doing anything else that typically causes me to have symptoms. I am hoping the d-mannose helps to pull all of the broken bacteria out… but just curious if the NAC breaking down the biofilms could be causing me to have the recurring symptoms every few days right now. Thoughts? Any help is greatly appreciated!

Hi Lauren, although biofilm dissolvers are becoming more widely used, there are still no studies that look at whether they reach the bladder or are effective there. Anecdotal evidence from other users suggests that they can cause flare ups of symptoms, but we can’t confirm one way or another until those studies are done! D-mannose has only been shown to have any effect on E. coli, so whether it works may depend on what’s causing your infection. You can send me a message directly if you have other questions. Melissa

Aisling says:

Hi, I’m 34 years old and have been dealing with chronic UTIs for as long I can remember. I’ve tried everything that’s been recommended. I pee before and after intercourse, only shower, only cotton underwear, loose clothes, cranberry supplements daily, probiotics daily, no caffeine, tons of water. You name it, I’ve tried it. I still get utis at least once a month. My dr has me taking an antibiotic before and after sex and it doesn’t help at all. I’ve seen a urologist but got no real answers. What should my next step be? I’m so tired of the constant pain and irritation.

Hi Aisling, this is very similar to stories we hear from so many people. It seems that you can have perfect hygiene and still get UTIs. In fact, people who do experience UTIs tend to be those that are trying hardest to do everything ‘right’. It’s possible you have a chronic infection, as per the above article. You may want to try alternative testing methods, or finding a practitioner who has experience treating chronic UTI (most don’t). You can get in touch directly if you have questions. Melissa

Rebecca says:

Good evening.
My 73 year old mother-in-law was diagnosed with a UTI around Christmas/New Years that resulted in a bad response to Cipro, a hospitalization, 10 days in a nursing home, becoming septic & spending another 2 weeks in the hospital on 6! antibiotics because they couldn’t determine what infection she had, a month of c-diff while in a nursing home with a catheter.
6 months later she is home, without a catheter. She started having UTI symptoms shortly after the removal of her catheter, & for the last 10-11 weeks has had a consistent UTI. The Dr’s prescribe yet another antibiotic, and the urologist has suggested d-mannose, drinking 1/2 her body weight in water & cranberry juice, Azo.
Any suggestions, or people we could turn to? Thank you.

Hi Rebecca, that sounds awful. Can you send me a message with more info about where your mother is based so I can share more detail? Melissa

Angie says:

I have been having an ongoing issue with UTI’s for a year and now I was given 30 days of antibiotics and was told to take before or after sex…I can clearly say this has NOTHING to do with it. I have been staying to myself and so NOW I have no idea what to do and I have a urologist.

Hi Angie, prophylactic antibiotics seems to be a common recommendation, though their use is questionable. We have some more info about that on our site. If you have any questions, you can always send me a message. Melissa

Arie says:

I have, what we believe, is a biofilm of a super bug. I’ve now had 14 positive cultures since a surgery last year. No prior history. It was 12 weeks before my initial infection was treatment, due to the UA being negative and surgery being to blame for my symptoms at the time. Within a week of treatment, symtoms return. Always same bacteria. I am looking for help (I have infectious disease and urologist) but I want a cure. I have tried Infectious disease with Mayo Clinic, specialists in my area who have written articles on it, and no one has any insight. Please, please, if you know of that small list of people you mentioned, email me. I’m running of antibiotics to take and becoming resistant. Thanks.

Hi Arie, I’ll send you an email with a couple of questions, then I can share more info. Melissa

Richard says:

Our 82 yr. old friend is in ongoing agony with this. She’s seen several different doctors in N. metro Atlanta area. Last urologist said she’d done all she could do, nothing more except go back to her gen’l practitioner. Friend has had these for 60 years, but the last 6 months have become unbearable. What can we or she do to help? Isn’t there some sort of super antibotic? She’s had bladder ablasion, 12 bladder “cocktails” treatment. Problem keeps reoccurring. What’s next?

Hi Richard, sorry to hear about that. Most practitioners do not have experience successfully treating chronic UTI, so it can be difficult to find the right person to help. You may like to reach out to one of the practitioners on our site for more information. I’ll also reply to the email you sent, with more info. Melissa

Mary says:

My daughter has had recurrent UTIs on and off since she was seven. She is 15 now, and has had 3 UTS since January. They treated her with powerful antibiotics and she got C-Diff. She has the UTI back and now they gave her a shot of antibiotics instead of oral. We go back to find out if that took care of it next week. What options does she have now that she contracted C-Diff. Do you know anyone else who may have gone through this?

Hi Mary, sorry to hear about that. I have spoken to a number of people who have experienced C. diff as a result of antibiotic use for UTI. If you want to message me directly I can pass on some information that has been shared with me. Melissa

Ekaterina Zharkova says:

Hi Melissa

I also would like to know what’s
the best way for a local lab/medical practitioner to test for bladder lining biofilms, if the urine culture is negative.

Please send me an email with the resources.

Stacey Clark says:

Hi Melissa I have reaccuring symptoms that give negative test results time and time again there always seems to be a trace of blood but no actual infection I too what like more info on how to go about getting further testing for what you talked about in this article. I am beyond grateful to have found this article I am in pain as we speak and don’t even want to go to the doctor as know it will be another bottle of antibiotics that help for a short time. Please help. Thank you

Hi Stacey, we hear so many stories about negative test results despite symptoms. If you haven’t read our article on why that can happen, that is a good place to start, and we have more information about alternative testing methods here. Depending where you’re based, you also may want to reach out to one of the chronic UTI specialists listed on our site. Good luck, Melissa

Hi Ekaterina, I’ll send you an with more email, as requested. Melissa

SHIRLEY PEPYS says:

What is the proper preventative antibiotic and milligrams for Chronic UTI for an elderly woman with Type 2 Diabetes?

Hi Shirley, that’s something that should be discussed with a doctor. We have some information on antibiotics for UTI on our site, and if you have other questions, you can always send us a message directly. Melissa

Linda says:

Hi, I’ve got my first UTI last year (2017 Feb) and I’ve got my second UTI in the next 6 months. I never had the habit of drinking enough water since I was young. The first GP I visited told me that lacking of water is the main reason that caused me UTI, I never get better from the first prescription of antibiotics so I went to a specialist, and the urologist told me that my UTI could be due to me being sexually active. I have stopped myself from sexual activity but I’ve got my third UTI at the time being because I never had enough water supply for the past few days. Is there anything I could do to recover completely from UTI as I am really afraid that one day my body will get immune to all the antibiotics which are meant to cure UTI.

Hi Linda, sex is a factor for many people but it’s certainly not the only thing that causes UTIs. We have some more info about recurrent UTI treatment options that includes the approaches of some chronic UTI specialists, if you’d like to check it out. With regard to antibiotic resistance, it’s certain bacteria that can become resistant to certain antibiotics rather than our own bodies becoming resistant. There is some research that suggests that these antibiotic resistant bacteria can lose their resistance over time when they are not exposed to the antibiotic, so resistance may not be a long term state. You can get in touch if you’d like more info about anything! Melissa

Traci says:

I am a 53 year old female. I have had a couple of UTIs before, but one of the problems is I do not usually have the burning that lets you know this so I may be walking around with one more of the time. Instead I get pain in the area of my bladder, but since I have multiple gastrointestinal issues it is hard to tell the difference, Currently my situation is that red and white blood cells plus mucous and other things are turning up positive, but I have no bacteria present. They want me to start Cipro in case it is an infection, but I am prone to CDIFF so am concerned to take it if there is no bacteria. Any help would be appreciated.

Hi Traci, what you described is very similar to many stories we hear. Negative urine culture results despite symptoms and other indicators of infection (blood, pus etc) is extremely common. If you want to read more about why that can happen, you can do so here. We also have some content on treatment options for recurrent and chronic UTI, as well info on chronic UTI practitioners. If you have specific questions, you can get in touch directly. Melissa

Frederica Claiborne says:

Hi Melissa. My mom is 89 and has been having chronic/recurring bladder infections for years now. Her urologist just keeps giving her antibiotics and sometimes pain meds. A few times he did a procedure on her. She described it as “stretching her bladder”. She has type 2 diabetes and takes the usual meds for that. The urologist suggested that they look at the meds she is on. Her GP says no issue with her meds causing the problem. Is it worth it to try some natural remedies? D-mannose or laricidin. crushed garlic, etc..? Any other suggestions?

Hi Frederica, that sounds very frustrating. We have some information about D-mannose and other home remedies, if you haven’t already read it. You can also reach me via our contact form if you’d like more specific info about anything. Melissa

Jamie Ashburn says:

Wonderful site has helped my doctor conclude that I likely have a biofilm but he does not know how to treat it. Its now called RUTI. Took a sample into the lab that looked cloudy to me(could not see through the yellow urine).. The labs AutoUrinalysis said everything was negative and that my urine was yellow and clear. I don’t now if the urine was disposed of after that but I still have symptoms and the preventive antibiotic seems to not be working again. I’m also confused most of the time.We are moving to the Chapel Hill NC area by the end of June..My present doctor referred me to his teacher at Duke medical school. there. He;stumped. I need to get to the point where I can function while we move. My family won’t even let me drive the 8 hours yet! Any ideas?

Hi Jamie, at the moment there are very few doctors who have experience in successfully diagnosing and treating chronic or recurrent UTI. You may like to reach out to those listed on our site – some provide appointments via telephone if you are unable to travel. You may also like to read more about preventative antibiotics and why they aren’t necessarily the best course of action. Drop me an email if you need more info. Melissa

Sherry G says:

I am a 70 yr old woman who is experiencing 2 infections a month. Until last fall I had 3-4 UTIs a yr. In November, I had one that progressed into sepsis. I cannot take estrogen replacement therapy because of a history of breast cancer. I have become resistant to all common antibiotic pills except Macrobid. Cranberry does not work. Methenamine Hippurate does not work.I have seen 2 urologists and they are out of ideas. I cannot go on like this as soon I will resistant to the Macrobid.
Any ideas would be appreciated.

Hi Sherry, it would be great to chat more about this, I’ve heard many similar stories. The best way to reach me is via our contact form – I’ll email you back asap. Melissa

Steph K says:

I am a 54 year old female and have been dx with at least 2 UTI’S in the last 6 months. I know when I have one because urine has a foul odor and appears foggy. I just ended a cycle of antibiotics…3 pills for $90 as insurance didn’t pay. I know I have another one because sxs have returned. I work full time where most of day is spent in the community with limited access to restrooms. As I’m aging, I find the need to urinate is more frequent and because of limited access to restrooms, could this be causing reinfection. Also, has there ever been reports of being able to go on SSDI due to the condition?

Hi Steph, I’m not aware whether it’s possible to access SSDI due to chronic UTI. I suspect it isn’t, though many people report an inability to work because of ongoing infection and the associated pain and frequency. Chronic UTI practitioners tend to take a longer term approach to treatment, and you may like to speak with one of the practitioners we’ve listed on our site. This page also includes more information on recurrent UTI treatment options. I hope this helps, and you can always get in touch directly if you have other questions. Melissa

Kai H says:

I am a 19 year old that just recently started getting reoccurring UTI’s just at the beginning of this year. And it is driving me to the point of insanity. I’ve had three full blown ones over the last five months and I’ve finally convinced my parents to let me see a urologist. I’ve taken all the precautions (like everything) to prevent them and they still have me feeling like im going crazy. Being away at college has had set backs because the doctors didn’t believe me the second time It came back and then forced me to get STD tested in order to receive antibiotics I did and I was clear of course knowing I would be and they are still coming back. Currently sitting here typing with frustration as having to deal with my third.

Hi Kai, I can sympathise with your frustration! It would be great to hear more about your experience so I can share any useful resources. This is the best way to get in touch. I hope you find the urologist helpful. Melissa

LT says:

I have had many, many UTIs after having a hysterectomy during which my ureter was cut.Spent about 3-4 years having bouts of UTIs.Had multiple stints put in to keep the repaired ureter open.Eventually had the ureter re-implanted and bladder moved over to make it accessible. Had the hyster due to estrogen receptive breast cancer. Had 3-4 UTIs since November and 2 of those within the last month. Currently on an antibiotic and still feel some burning when urinate but not every day. Should finish this round of treatment in 2 more days but afraid this is not over since still having pain. Have reflux from the injured ureter. Sexual activity is certain infection. Saw urologist in November. Did a cystoscope everything fine. When any urine test done ALWAYS have blood in urine. Help!

Sorry to hear you’re experiencing that! I’d love to hear more via private message, so I can share further resources. You may also like to speak with one of the chronic UTI practitioners listed on our site, for advice on the best approach. Melissa

Steve says:

I am a male who is suffering from recurrent UTIs with 2 hospitalization for sepsis. I have been on multiple antibiotics that just hold it at bay until it becomes full blow. I am in a constant state of sickness, no energy, unable to get back to baseline. My urine cultures grow gram negative rods with isolated bacteria of EColi. I’ve ungone every test in the book to find the source without success. Bactrium cause nephrotoxicty, Keflex only holds it for a while, Ciprio no good. Thoughts?

Hi Steve, that’s a tough situation. Can you get in touch with me directly via our contact form so I can send you some more resources? Melissa

JC says:

I am under the care of the Professor Malone-Lee quoted in this article. I’ve suffered with persistent symptoms for four years, and the Professor diagnosed what he believes to be an IBC caused infection. The treatment is long and dogged, I have been seeing him for a year thus far. I hope to see results soon as it truly is a life altering condition, which few understand and thus leaves sufferers anxious and isolated. Stay strong ladies!

Hi Crystal, thanks for sharing your experience and your optimism. Life altering is indeed a good way to describe chronic UTI. I hope you see results very soon and I’d love to hear about your progress. Melissa

Lucille says:

Doctors always seem to blame the patient for poor hygiene or not emptying the bladder prior to sexual intercourse—most women know what to do and do it but UTI’s persist!! It’s time for women to be tested effectively and new treatments to be employed. Billons of dollars are spent annually to treatment UTI’s that return quickly especially when women are sexually active. We have suffered long enough with this horrid affliction—researchers must be charged with finding safe, effective and affordable solutions NOW.

Hi Lucille, it’s true, you can have ‘perfect’ hygiene and still suffer from chronic UTIs. We agree that guidelines must be updated to reflect the inadequacy of current standard UTI testing methods, and much more research is required to provide more effective testing and treatment options. We know there are practitioners and researchers working on this, and we’ll continue to share new information as it becomes available. If you have any resources to share, please get in touch!

LK says:

Thanks for this great website. I was diagnosed with IC/BPS 4 years ago through a cystoscopy. I have strongly suspected an imbedded bacterial infection as I had recurrent UTI’s for about a year before it became full blown pain and sometimes frequency, completely changing my life. Your website explains things in very understandable terms. I love websites like this that offer scientific reasons, rather than forums that make me feel depressed. I truly believe the issue of UTI’s and IC/BPS is gaining traction in the medical world offering hope to people that suffer these life altering symptoms

Thanks for the great feedback. We’ve heard a lot of similar stories from people with recurrent UTIs that were later diagnosed as IC/BPS. We hope more people can find answers through more accurate testing and further research, and we’ll do what we can to help. Keep in touch with your own updates!

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