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Why Do I Keep Getting UTIs?

Why Do I Keep Getting UTIs?

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are among the most common infections that affect Americans, accounting for nearly 10% of infections reported in acute care hospitals. This infection can strike any portion of your urinary system, including your bladder, kidneys, urethra, and ureter. 

While UTIs are generally easy to treat, leaving them untreated can create dangerous complications such as permanent kidney damage, sepsis, and increased risk of low birth weight or premature birth among pregnant women. Another complication is recurring UTIs.

At their Boston, Massachusetts, area practice, Dr. Neeraj Kohli and the team at BostonUrogyn provide expert treatment of UTIs and other urogynecological conditions. We offer experience, state-of-the-art equipment, and personalized care to give you the best possible outcomes.

Here’s more on how you can reduce your risk of repeated urinary tract infections.

Who gets UTIs?

While anyone can get a UTI, women are 30 times more likely to get one than men. One reason is that a woman’s urethra is shorter than a man’s, so bacteria doesn’t have to travel as far to reach the bladder. 

A woman’s urethral opening also is closer to both the vagina and the anus, making it easier for the bacteria commonly associated with this infection, E. coli, to cause a UTI. 

What’s more, 4 in 10 women who develop a UTI are likely to see a recurrence within six months. 

What happens when you get a UTI?

E. coli is usually found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of most healthy people. It often doesn’t cause problems until it reaches the urinary system, which can create two types of infection:

Cystitis

This is an infection of the bladder that causes inflammation, pain, and irritation. It can be worse if the infection spreads to your kidneys.

Urethritis

The urethra is the tube through which urine passes from your bladder out of your body. Infection of the urethra causes a burning sensation when you urinate and can increase the urge to go.

What increases the risk of a UTI? 

While women in general are at greater risk, other factors may increase your chance of getting a UTI, such as:

Wiping improperly

Wiping from back to front after you’ve finished in the restroom can spread the bacteria to your urethra.

Sexual activity

Being sexually active can also cause the bacteria to spread to your urethra, and new partners increase your risk.

Some forms of birth control

Diaphragms increase your UTI risk, and spermicides can remove good bacteria, making infection easier.

Other risk factors include the hormonal changes associated with being pregnant and experiencing menopause, as well as medical conditions such as diabetes and kidney stones.

What can be done about UTIs?

Several antibiotics are available to treat UTIs, and other basic precautions can help reduce risks, such as urinating before and after sex, wiping from front to back, drinking plenty of fluids, and avoiding douches and feminine sprays.

UTIs are unfortunately easy to get and can become chronic, but we can help. Make an appointment with Dr. Kohli and BostonUrogyn today by calling one of our Boston area locations, including Wellesley and South Weymouth, or book your visit online.

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