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Researchers estimate at least one-quarter of all women experience recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs). You’re diagnosed with recurrent UTIs when you develop two or more of these painful infections within six months.
UTIs cause a host of painful symptoms, and when not promptly treated, the infection can spread to other organs. The medical providers at Urgent Care of Ada, in Ada, Oklahoma, specialize in diagnosing and treating onetime and recurrent UTIs.
Many of our patients wonder why they keep getting UTIs, so we’ve put together this helpful guide explaining UTIs and how we can help.
When any part of your urinary system gets infected, you have a urinary tract infection. Your urinary system includes multiple organs, including your kidneys, bladder, urethra, and ureters. Signs you may have a bladder infection include:
Your intestines naturally have Escherichia coli (E. coli), where it's beneficial to gut health. When E. coli gets into another part of your body through contact with other people, animals, or contaminated foods and water, you can get sick. E. coli in the urinary system causes the large majority (90%) of UTIs.
UTIs are easily treated with antibiotics. However, if you don’t get medical treatment, your UTI can spread to your kidneys. This causes a kidney infection, which is more difficult to treat and can trigger serious complications.
Women are far more likely to develop UTIs than men because of the shorter distance between their rectum and urethra. And unfortunately, some women are more prone to developing UTIs than others.
Having a close family history of UTIs, like your sister or mother, also increases your risk as do other factors, including:
Women who don’t wipe from front to back after using the restroom or who use vaginal douches, scented feminine washes, or scented tampons and pads are also at higher risk of getting recurrent UTIs.
At Urgent Care of Ada, your provider reviews your medical history, UTI history, and discusses any lifestyle factors that may trigger recurrent infections before creating a customized UTI treatment plan for you.
Though a simple course of antibiotics can clear a UTI, recurring UTIs may require more intervention. For example, taking a low-dose antibiotic for a long period of time (6-24 months) can sometimes help stop recurrent UTIs.
Based on your unique needs, your provider may also recommend taking an antibiotic every time you have sex or engage in sexual activity. If you’re in menopause, vaginal estrogen therapy can help restore the natural pH balance of your vagina and protect you from UTIs.
Your Urgent Care of Ada provider also reviews helpful lifestyle changes that work to prevent recurrent UTIs, such as urinating promptly after sex. Other lifestyle changes that can help include:
Learn more about how we help prevent recurring UTIs by scheduling an appointment over the phone or online at Urgent Care of Ada. If you suspect you have a UTI, get same-day treatment by walking in at our urgent care clinic.