Recurrent UTI in Women: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

A urinary tract infection, commonly abbreviated as a UTI, is an infection of the urinary system. (1)

The urinary system is responsible for cleansing the blood, filtering waste from the body, regulating blood pressure, and controlling blood volume. The kidneys, bladder, ureters, urethra, and renal pelvis comprise the urinary system.


Image Credit: Freepik

Chronic urinary tract infections (UTIs) are urinary tract infections that do not respond to treatment or keep recurring.

Recurrent UTI in women may persist in your urinary system despite receiving appropriate treatment, or they may return after successful treatment. 

Although women are at a higher risk for developing UTIs, it is crucial for both men and women to understand how they can prevent the risk of recurrent UTIs. 


1. Frequent UTI Symptoms


Image Credit: Freepik

Patients may experience any or all of the following symptoms if they contract a UTI: (2)

  1. Fever
  2. Cloudy urine discharge
  3. The presence of blood in urine
  4. A burning sensation when urinating
  5. Abdominal, side and back pain
  6. Increased urination frequency
  7. Fatigue
  8. Strong smelling urine



2. Can A UTI Return? 

Image Credit: Freepik

Many women who acquire a urinary tract infection may likely be at risk of contracting another one later in life and may wonder ‘Why do I have UTI symptoms every month?’ (3).

Men can also develop recurrent UTIs, although it is less frequent and is usually caused by a urinary tract obstruction.

Therefore, it is extremely useful for women to understand how to keep a UTI from coming back. 


3. Causes Of Recurrent UTIs

The following list consists of causes of recurrent uti in females: (4)

  • Genetics

    Due to their anatomy, women are more prone to UTIs. The urethra in women is shorter than in men. Furthermore, because it is near the entrances of the vagina and anus, bacteria from those regions have a greater chance of spreading; or being wiped; into the urethra. 

    Once bacteria enter the urethra, it just takes a short distance to infect the bladder, hence causing a UTI. 


    • Personal Hygiene Habits

      One of the key causes for recurrent uti in females is a lack of personal hygiene. Since a woman's urethra is shorter than men's and close to the vagina and anus, it is recommended for women to wipe from front to back after excreting.

      This substantially reduces the possibility of fecal matter or harmful bacteria being transferred from the anus into the urethra. 

      It is also recommended to avoid moisture as it can also contribute to the development of a recurrent UTI.


      • Sexual Activity

        Bacteria can easily spread during sexual activity. Therefore, it is important to be careful about practicing safe sex practices to avoid the development of a recurrent UTI.

        Doctors advise women to urinate immediately after intercourse to prevent the transfer of harmful bacteria to the urethra. 


        • Health Issues

          A weakened immune system or a chronic health condition might increase your susceptibility to recurrent infections, including UTIs.

          Diabetes, as well as certain autoimmune illnesses, neurological problems, and kidney or bladder stones, may also enhance your chance of a UTI. 

          If a patient has had surgery on any section of their urinary system, the scar tissue or anatomical changes that follow may make them more vulnerable to infection.


          4. How To Cure Recurrent UTI


          Image Credit: Freepik

          Patients wondering ‘How to cure chronic UTI can simply follow the following instructions: (5)

          • Drink Fluids

            Urinating on a regular basis can help remove bacteria from the urinary system and avoid UTIs. When patients are dehydrated, they do not urinate as frequently, which might provide a breeding environment for harmful bacteria.

            It's ideal to drink water throughout the day and whenever you are thirsty to stay hydrated and fulfil your hydration requirements.


            • Increase Intake Of Vitamin C

              By acidifying the urine, vitamin C inhibits the development of several types of bacteria. The same is true for vitamin C supplements. 

              Fruits and vegetables are particularly high in vitamin C and are an excellent method to supplement your diet. Red peppers, oranges, grapefruit, and kiwifruit all offer the total daily value of vitamin C in a single serving.


              • Consume Foods Rich With Probiotics

                Probiotics are helpful bacteria that are eaten or taken as supplements. They can help to maintain a healthy bacterial balance in your stomach.

                Probiotics are available as supplements or in fermented foods including kefir, kimchi, kombucha, and probiotic yogurt. Probiotics may help prevent UTIs and aid in the restoration of gut flora following antibiotic therapy.


                • Drink Cranberry Juice

                  One of the most well-known natural cures for recurring urinary tract infections is to drink unsweetened cranberry juice. You may also take cranberry supplements. 

                  Cranberries inhibit bacteria from clinging to the urinary system, hence avoiding urinary tract infections.


                  • Natural Herbal Supplements 

                    Some types of herbal supplements can be highly effective for addressing a recurrent UTI. These include bearberry leaf, garlic, green tea, mint, parsley, and other types of supplements. 


                    5. How To Prevent Recurrent UTIs

                    The following list can help patients understand how to prevent UTI from coming back:

                    Causes of Recurrent UTIs

                    How To Prevent UTI From Coming Back

                    Hygiene Products With Fragrance (6)

                    Avoid personal hygiene products with fragrance, especially products that come into contact with the genitals and that may irritate the urethra

                    Inadequate Hydration

                    Ensure that you are consuming adequate amounts of water each day to prevent a recurrent UTI from occurring

                    Poor Hygiene Habits

                    Ensure that you wipe from front to back after urination to avoid the spread of bacteria such as E.coli

                    Sexual Activity

                    Urinate after sexual intercourse to avoid the development of harmful types of bacteria

                    Build-up Of Bacteria

                    Urinate at frequent time intervals

                    6. When To Seek Medical Attention

                    If your UTI continues to reoccur after trying all of the above mentioned home remedies and prevention methods, it is advised to visit a doctor and receive medical attention immediately. 

                    Patients should also seek medical attention if UTI symptoms become too painful as the infection may worsen and spread to other parts of the body. 

                    Certain recurrent UTIs may only be cured with an adequate dosage of appropriate antibiotics.


                    7. Conclusion

                    Since recurrent urinary tract infections can be an extremely unpleasant and time-consuming process for patients, it is crucial for women to understand how they can prevent the development of recurrent UTI in women

                    Therefore, patients wondering ‘How to treat a recurrent UTI’ can simply follow the above-mentioned step-by-step instructions. 

                    Is Turmeric Good For UTI? Here’s What Science Says
                    How to Use Yogurt for a UTI: Natural Home Remedy