Here's my little story. I've had UTI's for about 3 years now. Every 3 months I get one, but when i don't have one, I'm scared of getting one. So basically, I don't have the greatest sex life because I live in fear of another infection. Also, even when I don't have an infection, I often feel a little discomfort, not even always after urinating...just basically any time of the day.
I'm hoping that someone out there can tell me that they went through the same thing and somehow, some way, they eventually stopped getting them. I just want some kind of sign of hope that I will some day no longer live in fear of another painful infection.
I think the first step is to find out why you get bladder infections so often. Do you have a regular uro and have you expressed your concern to him ? There are also some basic things you could to do yourself:
-Drink plenty of water
-Empty your bladder within 30 min after having intercourse.
-Avoid certain kinds of birth control. Whenever I used Today's sponge (I am not sure if it is still available) or foaming type spermicides I got a UTI.Everybody is different I am just talking about my own experience.
-Wipe from front to back after a bowel movement.
-Avoid harsh soaps in the genital area.
See, that's what makes it harder for me. I do all of the things you listed above and I do have a regular urologist. I was on Macrodantin for 2 months straight and so far, I haven't had an infection in 3 1/2 months. It's like heaven for me. I was thinking maybe after you have a baby or once you reach a certain age, this kind of problem can go away...Again, just looking for some kind of hope!
I had recurrent UTIs for several years. They never came up with a reason. I highly suspect that it had something to do with my hormone levels, as I seemed to get them around the time of the month that I ovulated. And right before a period.
They finally went away and I hadn't had one in about 5 years then I had one a couple of months ago. None since. I also had the constant feeling like I had an UTI even when I didn't. I think it must irritate the nerve endings when you have so many or something.
All the things in the last post are must-dos and don'ts if you want to keep from getting them. But some of us get them anyway. If you can see a Dr. and get any other medical problem ruled out as a cause would be the smartest thing to do.
I never had UTI's until a couple of years ago and now I've been plagued with them, too. As I write this I've just stopped another round of antibiotics. Last one I was on antibiotics for 10 days, off 8 and then it hit me again. I do everything right and my daughters kid me about the amount of water I drink as it's close to 90+ ounces a day and water is just about all I do drink. Since my husband is paralyzed I don't have sex, I wipe front to back and use mild soap when washing. I take cranberry pills (can't stand the juice) and yet I still get at least 3 or more UTI's yearly. Last Friday I had a kidney IVP (normal) and a bladder cystoscopy. The urologist said everything looks fine, but there was definitely bacteria....therefore the rerun on antibiotics. It's nerve wracking, but I'm beginning to thing it's hormonal and I have my yearly checkup with the gynocologist next month. I just went through menopause and the fact that I went 53 years of my life without UTI's and now they are a constant in my life, I would really tend to believe it's hormones.
I feel so badly for you because I know that just planning a weekend trip and worrying about whether you are going to get an infection or not is scary. When I have them the bladder spasms are so bad and all I want to do is sit on the toilet even though it doesn't relieve a thing....and no sleeping, it's impossible.
My urologist has a sign on his door that says "Pee All That You Can Pee." I think that's so cute. Good luck, all.
pee all you can pee is priceless ..but i have read that the right amount of water to drink daily is 1/2 ounce for every pound of body weight..so a woman weighing say 120lbs should drink 60 ounces..i have also heard recently that a person can drink too much water.the army just released info on a study they did...several of their recruits had died and it was found the cause to be that they had drank too much water and it lowered their blood sodium level too much..so i think the key is everything in moderation....also i have read that uti's are very common in post menopausal women ..even women who never had one before in their life
I agree with bjg. I think drinking couple liters of water a day would be sufficient.
I also thought about something else. I was wondering if you are having urine retention in your bladder. If you cannot empty your bladder completeley every time you void and if considerable amounts of urine stays in the bladder, you may become more susceptible to UTIs. On the other hand, it is unlikely at a young age.
You all are so great! Thanks for all of your helpful replies. I have done so much research so I was aware of most of these facts that could help me out.
Piper- How could I tell if I was not emptying my bladder properly? I don't think I have that problem..but is there some way to tell?
My infections come around about 24 hours after sexual intercourse so I am sure this is what triggers them. But I have recently developed a lot of sensitivity in that area even when I don't have an infection. My urologist told me that there could still be some bacteria left over in my urethra..even though no bacteria shows up in the urine test. I have been on Macrodantin and I am feeling better..but I still get flaky white things floating around in my urine..looks like skin, like when you are pealing from a bad sunburn.
I just hope this is a bad phase my body is going through...lol. I would chop off my right arm if that would assure that I would never feel the pain of an infection again.
an IVP test will show if your emptying your bladder properly. i am 26yrs old and have a uti every single month and have had since i was three years old but doctors dont know why. when i was three i had some kind of test that showed reflux which meant that the urine was coming down my body but then going back up causing chronic uti's so i had to have an operation called reimplantation of the ureta and then i was to stay on antibiotics for two years straight. even though my operation was successful, i still get chronic uti's and live on antibiotics. sometimes it may take 6 or 7 courses of antibiotics to clear an infection and then in less than a week my infection is back to haunt me once again but doctor;s cannot find any reason for this. i know what you are going through and if you do find any information that is helpful please let us know.
i wish you all the best!
This may be of help to you all. I was in the same predicament with recurring UTI's. I tried many different RX's, drank plenty of H20, was very hygenic, and even quit having sex. This ebbed some of the symptoms, but there was still pain and frequent trips to the restroom. My urologist finally diagnosed me w/ Interstitial Cystitis. It's identical to chronic urinary tract infections, but medicines don't help. Basically, it's permanent. There's not much info about it. The cause is questionable, but thought to be linked to the immune system not being able to fully recover from a bacterial infection. There is not really a cure from what I understand. Sometimes, the symptoms disappear, for a certain period of time, or permanantly. Changes in diet, exercise, etc. have all helped women with this disease; though I have yet to discover what is causing my symptoms to flare up.
Also, FYI, this can cause intercourse to be painful.
I'm 27 yrs old. I've never had a bladder infection before. I was married to my first husband for 4 yrs and had a son, which I had a hematoma after I gave birth too and when I'm on my period I can still tell that somethings not right. It hurts to stand on my feet for too long. Its like I can remember that horrible pain, but its tolerable. So I've never mentioned it to the Dr. Anyway...going back to the bladder infection. I hadnt had any until I married my 2nd husband. I started getting one 2 days before my wedding. No, it wasnt caused by sex b/c we hadnt had sex then. So I end up in the ER on my honeymoon b/c I was in so much pain and it was moving up my back. Found out it was a bladder infection. Was given antibiotics, but 5 days later I had a car wreck and my son died in it. So needless to say I didnt keep up with my medication. Now its been 3 months since I got married and I've had 4 bladder infections! But I have noticed it coming right around the time my period starts. I've had a culture done and it turned out fine. I've taken Bactrim and Cipro so far. It clears it up, but keeps coming back. I know I've been under a tremendous amount of stress since my son died. I dont know b/c of the stress its weakening my immune system or what. So that Dr. gave me a pill to take every time we have sex. I hate taking pills! I started taking the cranberry pills everyday to see if it will help prevent it. And I'm taking a pre-natal pill b/c we are trying to have a baby, but we cant even have sex due to all these infections. Its been a couple of days since my infection supposively cleared up. Which I went back to the Dr. b/c I felt like the infection wasnt gone, but he said it was. Now the first time we had sex after this infection, I start burning and it feels raw or something. So I ignored it and had sex again the next day and same thing. So I thought maybe I'm getting a yeast infection from all the stupid pills. So I took some Monistat 1 for that. Who knows where it'll go from here. I'm so sick of this stupid infection and Dr's not knowing how to keep it away. I'm keeping a journal watching everything I do to see maybe if I can figure it out myself to what is causing this. I want to be normal. From what I see its like...once you have had a UTI it'll be back. Theres just has to be a solution out there. Too many of us women are suffering for it. People are smart enough to figure out how to send a man to the moon, but cant even come up with an answer why so many women are suffering from recurring UTI's!!
Hello Heavenbound, I am so sorry to hear of your sons passing, I can only imagine how terrible it is for you. I am glad you have a new husband to help you through and I hope your wish to have another child comes true. I dont know anything about UTIs but when my husbands mother died his health went to bits, he got shingles and meningitis and then got meningitis again 6 months later. I am sure stress must weaken your immune system. Best wishes.
[This message has been edited by CINDERELLA (edited 09-03-2002).]
43- mother of 13yr- mild depression-longterm back pain-anxiety disorder 2 yrs-very happily married
Just wanted to share my experiences with you all...I'm 22 and the first bladder infection I got was at age 7 and then the next at age 14 after having sex (which is supposedly normal). Then at age 16 I got another and this time they couldn't cure it. I was on antibiotics for over a year and because the bacteria was so resistant it ended up being a kidney infection that I had to be hospitalized for a week on IV antibiotics because there was nothing left to take in pill form to cure it. Since then I have a bladder infection about every month-three months. I can understand that if it comes back a few days later then it's due to not curing the initial infection but I'm at a loss as to the three month cycle. I get them from dehydration I've noticed too. I was camping (no sex) for three days and after day two woke up with a raging infection...luckily there was a hospital 10 mins by car away so that I could stop marking my territory every two mins in the woods (you girls know what I mean)! Since the age of 18 I've seen two urologists, the first one who tested me for interstitial cystitis, reflux and physiological abnormalities in my tubes to see if anything was amiss and everything looked normal. I've had a coule of ultrasounds, kidneys are fine with no cysts and my bladder empties beautifully. The second gave up and put me on a daily dose of antibiotics for LIFE! I refused to kill my immune system this way after the kidney infection ordeal so I don't take them but worked out with the doc to take some after sex and have a dose ready if an infection arises instead of waiting hours in a clinic (dammit after over 40 infections in my life, I KNOW what it feels like to have a bladder infection!)but girls get this: I've gone over a year and a half with NO infections after 4 years of chronic ones...and now another today! nooo! But the bizarre part in all this is that the tests come back about 50/50 infection and no infection, even though I feel like I have one! My stress level has gone up and down on the year that I was bladder infection free and I've been eating healthier foods but not drastically, have had MORE sex and had generally thanked my lucky stars that that period of my life was over but here I am still stuck...keep up the courage and hopefully these brilliant scientists will come up with something better for us soon! You start to feel crazy after awhile! Don't let people tell you it's a woman thing either, it's not normal to have so many infections. There must be an answer! By the way, about the hormonal possibility, I'm being tested for abnormalities since other health stuff has been plagueing me for over 2 years with no apparent cause, major swelling in my feel, stomach, and legs (anyone with the same please respond to this thread).
Mattsmummum.....you may be right about the hormone thing. I just pulled this info off the internet concerning menopause.:
Treat Changes In Urinary Tract: Estrogen plays an important role in maintaining the lining of the bladder, urethra and vagina. Estrogen deficiency may produce changes in these organs that give rise to bladder infections and incontinence. Hormone replacement therapy can reverse these effects, strengthening vaginal tissue and building tone in the bladder.
I went off Estrace about 2 months ago after 10 years of use because I wanted to try a more natural form of hormone replacement. Maybe the estrogen deficiency is causing the UTI's? And what I'm now using, (Estroven over-the-counter)isn't doing the trick. I've had several UTI's since I went off the Estrace after not having any for quite a while. I was blaming them on a recent bought with strong antibiotics which always throws my system for a loop and I end up with a UTI.
I don't know if this is of any help, but I have had 3 Spinal Cord operations in 3 years , and this last time in particular while in hospital they did a Urine sample as mine was very "high smelling" and said UTI, so put on A/Biotics.
When I went to Rehab to learn to walk again one day my bladder refused to empty, holding about 700-800 mls( painful!!) ,the nurses were horrified !!
(it was caused due to messages not getting thru spinal cord to the brain, (not your problem of course !!)..
so they said " Catheter!!"..
I was horrified, but they helped me a few times , then when I came home one early morning, my Bladder again packed up
so I am now Self Cathetering every time, but it is getting better now, but NO MORE INFECTIONS!!
The reason I write is they told me I was emptying only so much urine but leaving another whole lot of urine behind ..so the catheter removes the "residue"..
it's "pooling" in there like a "puddle" and this can cause Infections to occur..
the urine can be strong smelling and also cause stinging. http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/redface.gif
I am beginning to wonder if the operations may have also caused my bladder /bowel to proplapse , as all my tummy muscles have lost their tone ?.
( similar to the mention of the HRT helping strengthening the walls)..
I too am finished menopause, can't take HRT, so could also be adding on to my problem!!
So maybe this may give you another avenue to think about ??
Good Luck anyway .. Belle XXXX