Treatment: Effective treatment options for frequent UTIs are available. Broad-spectrum antibiotics are used to treat the infections with culture results directing the therapy. Behavioral modifications may be helpful for some patients. Conservative measures, such as cranberry products, may reduce the incidence of symptoms. In postmenopausal women, topical estrogen therapy may reduce the occurrence of frequent UTIs.
Prevention: The urologist may prescribe daily antibiotic prophylaxis for 6-12 months to reduce the risk of recurrent UTIs in women who have two or more episodes within one year. Postcoital antibiotic prophylaxis may be appropriate in women who have UTIs related to sexual intercourse. Some women may be given a self-start antibiotic prescription, which is a three-day regimen to be taken at the onset of symptoms. This strategy is successful in women with a clearly documented history of recurrent UTIs who are motivated and good at adhering to medical instructions. Behavioral modifications such as postcoital voiding, cranberry products, and topical estrogen in postmenopausal women are other preventative measures for frequent UTIs.
Prevention: Women can prevent the occurrence of urinary pain by:
- Staying well hydrated with water (to flush out the urinary tract)
- Wipng front to back after bowel movements (to prevent infections)
- Urinating after sexual intercourse (to remove bacteria from the urethra)
- Keeping the genital area clean and dry
- Frequently changing tampons and sanitary napkins
- Avoiding use of irritants such as scented soaps and sprays in the genital area
- Avoiding extended time spent in wet swimsuits (this can irritate the vulva)
- Practicing safe sex by using a condom to prevent STDs