I'm really suffering. I've been dealing with constant UTIs for over the past year. I've been to the emergency room 3 times, and have been to several urologists many, many times. Nothing helps. They have given me every anti-biotic under the sun. I've drank cranberry juice and have taken cranberry supplements, as well as d-mannose. I pee before and after sex and I take macrobid before and after sex. I wipe properly. I've had a cystoscopy and blood tests and everything came back normal. I've had pap smears and sonograms, including pelvic sonograms and a cat-scan of my kidneys. I don't know what to do!! Even my urologists don't know what to do. One of them just told me these UTIs can just stop out of nowhere. I can't take it anymore. It's ruining my relationship. I'm scared to have sex and when I do, it hurts and the pain in my lower back comes in a matter of minutes. My doctors are as clueless as I am. They just tell me my urine is very infected everytime I go. I don't know what to do; I am at the end of my rope. Has anyone else experienced CONSTANT utis?? Are you better now? Do you know of any alternative treatments I could try? I've been doing my research and nothing is helping me. I am desperate!
Thanks for reading.
The following user gives a hug of support to IWGB1805:
I am basically in the same situation at you. I've gotten an UTI each year for the past 3 years, never having one before. This year, it will not go away. I've been on antibiotics for the past 40 days and I feel fine while I"m on them, but as soon as I stop, it comes back. My basic problem is nausea and back pain. A culture was taken last week, so I will see what happens next soon. I know it's a pain, and I don't know what to do, either. I've been on 2 meds (cipro & bactrim) so I'm curious to see what happens next. I'll let you know. Good luck.
I could have written your post! These recurrent UTIs is what I've been having since last year September. I have been on so many different antibiotics and the infections clears up to just return in a week or a few weeks. I've also been to the ER a few times and it's like no one is taking me seriously. I've been doing many things to prevent them, something I never did before and yet didn't get a UTI until last September. Cranberries, peeing after sex, washing before/after sex, and whatever else there may be. I fail to keep bacteria at bay.
I suppose they culture your urine and so they can see if/what bacteria are in your urine to be able to better pick an antibiotic?
It's ruining my life also, no work, needless to say about my intimate life and I'm only in my early twentieth. I sometimes think whether it's something I have to live for the rest of my life. O God forbid it.
I hope a relief for us and some answers. Just wanted to let you know you're not alone. I really can't find people with the same problem as me but I finally I just found your post. I feel your pain.
I would be happy to hear from you.
I went to my urologist today because even though my urine test came back negative, I still have symptoms of infection. He put me back on Bactrim for 15 more days and if I still don't clear up, he will be doing further testing.
Here is what he said: When you have an infection, the urine clears up in about 3 days. However, the lining of the bladder takes much longer to clear. Therefore, the reason for a negative urine test, but still have an infection.
Also, the reason for drinking so much water is to cleanse the bladder of bacteria and help the anti-biotic work. What he said made a lot of sense. Stay away from soda and drink water, flavored water, or lemonade. Also, coffee and caffeine can be problems.
So, back on the medicine. I asked about the frequency of the infections and he said that as you age (64) your resistence is lower and you pick up stuff easier. Hope this helps you people with the same problem as me. Keep drinking that water!!!!!!!!
The doc did question me on the amount of water I was drinking. Didn't know what to say, so I told him that I try and drink 1 cup of water an hour. He nodded as though that were OK. I do get a glass everytime I urinate and whenever I think about it as I'm passing the sink. This hot weather we are having helps with the water drinking.
Coffee consumption is 2 cups per morning and he seemed to be OK with that, also. Hope that helps. Have a good one.
If the problem is related to sex -- certain positions can trigger it more than others. Also, if sex is too rough ("too rough" meaning it irritates the wall between bladder and vagina or the bladder muscle, not that it necessarily FEELS too rough) that can also aggravate it and make you more prone to UTIs. Also, certain spermicides, lubricants, and condoms can cause them I have found. One option I am going to try is the Intimate Organics lube that has carraageen (sp?) in it, a natural microbial. Apparently it can kill of HPV, HSV and several other viruses... so why not the e.coli or step that causes UTIs? I am going to give that a try. At this point, I am pretty desperate myself and willing to try almost anything. I, too, get frequent UTIs.. mine are generally sex-related as well, though occasionally they can be caused by dehydration or waiting too long to urinate.
The one thing that did work for me for a while was long-term use of macrobid. While macrobid does NOTHING for me once I already have a UTI, if started when I do not currently have one it works great as a preventative (it sterilizes the urine, it is not a "true" antibiotic). After 3 months of macro, I did not have another UTI for over a year and a half! I am considering going back on it for another 3 months. We'll see.
Other things that have helped me are the cranactin supplements (I have to be very diligent about taking them though), staying hydrated, urinating frequently, and avoiding ANY KIND of sexual activity that can transmit bacteria from the anus to the urethra (which of course means avoiding certain positions). Oh, you also gotta be careful and make sure your partner's hands are really clean before he touches you down there.. hand contact is a big problem for a lot of women though, if you get what I mean. Sometimes the "handy-work" can cause real problems, too, if you catch my drift.
Best of luck to you, hope some of this stuff helps!!
Thank you so much, Nerdlie, for such valuable input!
As to the UTI triggers, well, sometimes they are sex-related, and sometimes it's a period that triggers another flare-up. I take probiotics, cranberry pills with vit C, and upping my water intake to see if these work. Tomorrow I have a cystoscopy to see what's inside my bladder that could possibly be causing the infections, and I am so afraid of it and that it will cause another flare-up. Ughh... Don't know what to do anymore, I'm in despair.
Have you been to a urologist and run some tests? I understand it's the urologist who put you on a low-dose Microbid. I've been on it many times and now have concerns of developing resistance. The bacteria that causes my infections are usually not E.coli. I am yet to find what works for me.
My assumption is that if they don't find what causes it (which I doubt they do), I will also be put on Microbid. The only thing is that last time I had my bladder infection it was P.mirabilis, the bacteria against which Microbid is totally useless.
I was happy to hear that a low-dose 3-month regimen worked for you (at least for a year and a half), I wish I could be infection-free for at least a month. I hope what you're trying to use now is helpful. And definitely keep us updated.
Yes, I saw a urologist. It was her who put me on Macrobid for the 3 months. She said if it came back I could do a year of Macrobid, which I am still considering.. I have been reading about lots of naturopathic remedies though, like marshmallow root, grapefruit extract, etc. that can apparently help repair the bladder lining and work as antibacterials. I am going to speak to my naturo and try going that route before I do the Macro again, even though it never caused me any side effects (I still prefer to go natural when possible). Macro NEVER WORKS for my actual infections, it just works as a preventative since it's actually not a "true" anti-biotic.. it actually just sterilizes your bladder. The theory is that by using it as a preventative measure, bacteria are never able to grow in the first place. It worked for me!!
How did your cysto go?? I hated mine.. it hurt soooo bad, but luckily they gave me a dose of cipro beforehand (that's what usually clears up my UTIs) which prevents any UTIs caused by the cysto.. all the other women that were getting cystos (my urologist was doing a bunch that day) were also given the cipro. It's standard procedure here, hopefully they did something similar with you! Hope yours wasn't so painful.
I appreciate your input.
Speaking of Macrobid, it clears most of my UTIs. I never been given Cipro though, not sure why. I was given a bunch of other antibiotics, according to culture reports.
My cystoscopy and urodynamics were done on Thursday. Bothe were uncomfortable as you can imagine. Urodynamics was embarrassing:they catheterized me and put a rectal tube (ouch!) as well to measure some pressure, and then they took x-rays as I coughed and then when I emptied the bladder (this procedure was done to rule out urine retention or incontinence, conditions that could predispose to infections). Anyways, they did not give me any antibiotics for infection prevention, and I was kind if worried about that, about getting yet another bladder infections, but I made sure I drank a lot of water afterwards for the rest of the day. I had pain and burning (worse than with a bladder infection) on urination for the rest of the day. Thankfully, it didn't last for more than a day, and I'm back to "normal". The doctor gave me (like I anticipated) Macrbid to take after sex, even though my infections are not allways caused by it. But anyways, I still have to go to the pharmacy and get them. May I ask you how many milligrams did they give you to take for prevention for 3 months? My prescription says 100mg, isn't that too much? I thought it would be 50 mg...
Oh well, guess I have no option. I would really love to find something natural, like you, I don't want to stay on antibiotics the whole time, it's not good. I've also been reading on herbal stuff, but not sure what to try yet.
Let me know what you decide/find for treatment, or rather, prevention, as well as what you think may work for you.
Well I'm allergic to sulfa drugs so I can't take a lot of the drugs prescribed for UTIs (like bactrim, etc.). Cipro is generally not first line of defense as it is quite strong, which is probably why you haven't had it before. I never had the urodynamics but man that sounds awful!
I am surprised she told you to take the Macro after sex. I've always heard that you should take it BEFORE sex so that it prevents the bacteria from multiplying during the act, and so that when you go to urinate after sex, you're urinating sterile urine.
100mg of Macro is standard for prevention. For actual treatment, it's usually 500mg so 100mg is appropriate. As I mentioned before, Macro has very very few side effects in a very small percentage of the population, it's very well tolerated so I doubt you'll have any problems taking it as a preventative therapy.
I find taking a cranberry supplement (I use cranactin) 4x a day is the best natural remedy I've tried so far. I have read a fair bit about grapefruit seed extract (I think I already mentioned that) being useful, because the citricidal in it is a natural antibiotic. Something called bovine colostrum is often recommended for repairing the lining of the bladder--I am going to talk to my naturo about going on this. Often times, after having numerous infections (I've had 50+ in my life) the lining of the bladder can weaken and become rough, which allows bacteria to get "trapped" in it and grow. That's why cranberry works for some people (it makes bladder lining slick so bacteria can't stick). Marshmallow root (which is apparently best in tea for this purpose) also has the same affect in that it creates a totally neutral mucus lining inside the bladder, so bacteria can't adhere and grow. I am going to be speaking with my naturopath about all these next week (she specializes in health issues) and I'll let you know what she thinks!
I have found probiotics work really good though at reducing the number of infections I get. It's way easier to fight them off, so sometimes I'll feel the beginnings of one, drink lots of water, and it'll go away. That NEVER used to happen. If I started getting symptoms, it was a sure bet I'd get a raging UTI within minutes usually. Also, when I do get them, they clear up faster. I really attribute that to the probiotics. I've heard that they have worked for a lot of women prone to UTIs. They're also good for preventing yeast infections, which tend to happen to me A LOT when I go on antibiotics. That said, I've never had any problems from Macro like yeast, because it's not a "true" antibiotic. It sterilizes the urine but it doesn't kill off the "good" bacteria in the G.I. track or elsewhere in your body, so that's good! If you are going to be on any kind of antibiotic long term, Macro is definitely the way to go!
Also, there are some vaccines in development (sadly it'll probably be years until they're on the marker) which can cure women prone to UTIs. I think they're being developed in Germany? Somewhere in Europe, though. Apparently though, they're extremely effective and eventually will be the "cure" for the unlucky gals like us! So keep your fingers crossed on that one!!
Hi Nerdlie - so nice to hear from you again! It makes it so much better to know I'm, not alone with this problem.
As to the drugs, it's such a coincidence that I don't tolerate sulfa drugs either, I've tried it only once (for UTI) and was hit by crazy allergic-like symptoms, so no sulfa for me. One of my doctors told me that this drug is known for not being well tolerated by many people. And the thing is that it did help with my symptoms after I took 2 tablets, but I'm not supposed to take it again. Probiotics - yes, I also take them all the time along with cranberry. The theory with cranberry is like you said they prevent the E.coli (most common bacteria responsible for UTI) from adhering to the walls of the bladder. In my case, however, my bladder have been "attacked" by different bacteria other than E.coli, and those have their own way of adhering. But I take the capsules anyways. Not sure if it really helps me with yeast though. Macrobid is fine in terms of yeast (like you said it doesn't have that effect), but any other antibiotic - and I end up with another nasty yeast infection. It's like a vicious circle. Marshmallow:I have heard about it, but never tried. Have you head about D-mannose? That's sugar powder that helps flush out any E.coli from the bladder, so it has a reputation of having the properties for prevention of bladder infections. I was going to try it but then figured I don't get E.coli, so wouldn't probably do much. I will be interested to hear what your naturopath tells you. Oh and I've also heard about tea tree oil (natural antiseptic), can be body wash or just hand soap.
I agree with a lot of UTIs (can't even count how many I've had, could be about 100) the bladder lining may weaken. And I noticed that with my bladder since I sometimes have UTI-symptoms but no bacteria.
Do they always culture your urine when you have the symptoms before prescribing antibiotics?
Thank you for your reply and sharing your personal experience and knowledge.
As to taking antibiotics after sex, well, the doctor said to take it wither before or shortly after intercourse.
Well my naturopath was a huge help! She has me now taking 2 Uristatin pills, which is produced by Thorne, (NOT Uristat -- that's just phenazopyridine) before sex. It has Bearberry leaf extract, Short Buchu leaf extract, Goldenseal Extract and Echinacea root in it. It seems to be working really, really well for me so far! I don't have any tenderness in my bladder/burning after sex at all anymore. I am wondering if you would have to take it daily if you have problems unrelated to intercourse?
Also, she has me taking these drops. I take 5 drops from each little bottle (there are 3) directly on the tongue, 3 times daily. They are called Unda 44, Unda 2, and Unda 7. They are homeopathic remedies. I am not entirely sure what they are or what they do (lol what an educated consumer) but from my understanding they bulk up the body's resistance to all the bacteria that cause UTIs and promote bladder healing -- she said this is important. She has apparently treated a lot of women with recurrent UTIs and has never seen anyone continue having problems after being treated with these remedies. I am also not taking macrobid anymore (I had only taken one dose before I saw her, anyways) because she said the uristatin works better without the macrobid, and it is stronger and better at preventing UTIs without any possible side effects! So far things seem to be working great. I finished off the antibiotics for my last UTI last week and have had intercourse a couple times with my boyfriend since then, and have had ZERO problems! I am so used to getting rebound infections if I have sex too close to finishing off antibiotics, but it doesn't appear to be a concern this time, which is a huge relief!
I would really recommend you see a naturopath if you are interested in going the natural/homeopathic route. I will keep you updated on how my treatment goes. Good luck!
PS. They do culture it usually, and they never tell me what bacteria it is. They just tell me Cipro will cure it. Go figure.
Hi there. I have just joined and have been reading this topic. Thanks for this info. I am a post menopausal woman who has just started having UTI problems. I have had success with D-Mannose but I am going to try the Uristatin. It sounds like a good product.
My situation has been mild/borderline and the D-Mannose has kept it at bay. I want to keep it from getting any worse because I don't react well with antibiotics as I have several digestive and allergy problems.