Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are an incredibly common condition that 8 million people living in the United States seek medical attention for each year, making it the second most common infection nationwide.
When you have a UTI, it means that there’s an infection in the organs of your urinary tract, which includes your bladder, kidneys, and urethra. UTIs are often minor and can be treated on your own at home. However, it is possible for the infection to spread to your kidneys, potentially leading to health complications and hospitalization.
Sometimes UTIs can be frequent or recurrent. These are infections that just keep coming back or never completely go away with typical treatment.
Urgent care specialist Ruchir Thakker, DO, and the rest of our team at NewMed Immediate Care located in the Rolling Hills, Illinois, area want to help you better understand what might be causing your recurring UTIs and how to keep them from coming back.
Risk factors for frequent UTIs
Anything that keeps you from being able to empty your bladder fully or that irritates your urinary tract can lead to a UTI. UTIs typically develop when bacteria enters your urethra, although it can also be caused by fungi or certain viruses.
These factors can greatly increase your risk of developing a UTI:
- Gender: Because women’s rectums are located so close to their urethras, women are much more likely to develop UTIs than men
- Lifestyle choices: When you use a diaphragm as a birth control method, it can make it difficult to empty your bladder all the way. In addition, using spermicides or vaginal douches can change the makeup of your vagina. Both these factors can lead to UTIs
- Menopause: Changes in hormones that happen during menopause make UTIs more likely
Having kidney stones or a weakened immune system also increases your risk for UTIs.
Diagnosing your frequent UTIs
When our team diagnoses UTIs, we ask about your symptoms and lifestyle choices. We then take a urine sample and analyze it. This helps us not only determine what’s causing your UTI in the first place, but it also allows us to make an appropriate treatment plan.
To treat your UTI, we prescribe specific kinds of antibiotics to target whatever is causing your infection.
Preventing future UTIs
At NewMed Immediate Care, we place high value on education. So, these are some things you can do in order to keep your UTIs from coming back:
- Always drink lots of fluids to continually flush out bacteria
- Urinate as often as you need to, but especially before and after sex
- Wear loose fitting clothing and breathable underwear
- Avoid using spermicides and diaphragms as birth control methods
- Try not to use scented body washes or vaginal douches
In addition, always wipe front to back after urinating to keep bacteria out of your urinary tract.
If you find yourself struggling with frequent UTIs, come in and see our team so we can accurately diagnose and treat your infection. To schedule an appointment with us, you can give us a call or use our online booking tool today.