Another UTI? Why is this happening?

By Amy K. Virtuwell Physician Assistant

Time saver 4 min read

Remember your first bladder infection? That urgent need to go. That desperate desire to be within steps of a bathroom. Except when you actually tried to go, you barely produced a trickle and it hurt – a burning pain that made you wince.

You weren’t quite sure what was going on but you knew you needed relief ASAP. The pain, discomfort and disruption to your life was off the charts.

Yep, it’s a urinary tract infection (UTI)

You were told you had a UTI— a diagnosis shared by millions of women each year. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, 50-60% of women will get at least one UTI in their lifetime. And, each year in the U.S., UTIs contribute to roughly 10 million doctor visits.

Common UTI symptoms

  • The urge to go to the bathroom – urinating frequently
  • A burning sensation when you go
  • Cloudy urine
  • An uncomfortable feeling in your lower abdomen

You were prescribed antibiotics, the infection cleared up and you almost forget the whole ordeal ... until you got another infection. That’s right, UTIs can come back. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, up to 40% of women who are diagnosed with a UTI will get another infection within six months.

But, you’re probably wondering why. Why did you get another UTI?

Common causes of recurrent UTIs

If a UTI comes back, it’s important to try to identify things that could be contributing to your painful infections.

  • Bacteria entering the urethra during sex
  • Changes in estrogen levels during your cycle or menopause
  • An atypical urinary tract shape
  • A genetic predisposition (thanks mom!)
  • Dehydration or not emptying your bladder enough
  • Kidney stones
  • Recent stomach bug

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Bladder infection vs. urinary tract infection While the terms bladder infection and urinary tract infection (UTI) are often used interchangeably, not all UTIs are bladder infections. A UTI is an infection in one or more places in the urinary tract which includes the ureters, kidneys, urethra and bladder. So while a bladder infection is a type of UTI, UTIs encompass other infections.

Tips to prevent future bladder infections

While there’s no surefire way to prevent another UTI, there are things you can do to reduce the likelihood of getting another infection.

  • Drink water – Flush bacteria out of the urethra by drinking at least 64 oz. of water every day and urinating frequently.
  • Wipe front to back – Follow this sage advice to prevent spreading harmful bacteria to the urethra.
  • Wipe front to back - Follow this sage advice to prevent
  • Shower up Avoid baths as sitting in water can introduce bacteria into the urethra and lead to an infection.
  • Ditch the diaphragm & spermicide – Choose an alternative birth control method as this combo can kill off good bacteria and allow harmful bacteria to make its way to the urethra.
  • Pee often – Make sure to urinate frequently and especially after sex.
  • Say no to perfumed feminine products – Don’t use feminine products like perfumed washes, douches and wipes as they can cause irritation and disrupt your body’s natural bacterial balance.

A fast and simple way to get UTI relief

Even if you’re doing all you can to prevent another UTI, an infection - and all those uncomfortable symptoms - can still happen. So now what?

Getting care and a prescription through an online clinic is typically faster than urgent care or other clinics. At Virtuwell, we treat a lot of UTIs and, when it comes to recurrent infections, our experienced nurse practitioners know what’s typical. Your symptoms help us determine if you have a UTI and we watch for signs that you could have something more serious.

Bladder infection treatment without a urine sample

If you’re wondering how a UTI can be treated without a sample, you’re not alone. It’s one of the top questions we hear.

If you’ve had a UTI, you know the deal. Drive to the clinic, pee in the cup, pass it through the tiny window and stand by for confirmation. Women who suffer from UTIs are accustomed to providing a urine sample before getting UTI treatment. But – in most cases – this isn’t a necessary step.

While a urine test helps confirm the existence of bacteria, it still takes a few days to identify the specific type of bacteria. And we know that 80 to 90% of bladder infections are caused by a single type of bacteria. So when you go into the clinic, you’re sent home with a prescription to treat a common UTI. At Virtuwell, we use this same scientific approach in our UTI diagnosis and treatment plans and prescribe the same medications you’d get in a clinic.

Skip the trip into the clinic when you’re dealing with painful UTI symptoms. Take comfort in knowing you can get fast and effective UTI treatment – online.

UTIs tend to strike at the worst times. We have customers starting a visit from home, work and even en route to their honeymoons. Many have literally finished their visits at the airport and picked up their prescriptions when they landed. We’d call that first-class service.

Author

Amy K.

Physician Assistant for Virtuwell

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