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What is the cause and treatment for recurrent urinary tract infection (UTI)?

Q: My friend has urinary tract infection, which keeps coming back almost every 2 months. She has been having this problem since 5 years wherein she feels like passing urine frequently. Usually when she is too stressed she develops this problem. How can this be treated permanently? She is 30 years old and married.

A:Urinary tract infection (UTI) is common in sexually active women, upto 3% suffering from UTI per year. Bacteria are often pushed up the urethra and into the bladder during coitus, multiplying later in the bladder to initiate the symptoms. The predisposing factors are poor vaginal lubrication during intercourse and use of artificial or improper lubricants. Anatomical abnormalities like reflux or obstruction in the urinary system are other causes making infection recurrent, and need to be excluded. The acute infections are treated with a short course of antibiotics. The preventive measures recommended are: 1. Make a habit of always drinking one extra glass of liquid, and emptying the bladder shortly before and after the intercourse. This will help flush out any bacteria that have been introduced. If she goes to sleep without doing so, the bacteria have several hours in which to multiply. 2. Fluid intake has to be increased over all. 3. Avoid artificial lubricants, water based lubricants are better if used at all. 4. If she has been using condoms, she may have to change the contraception method. 5. As these attacks have been more frequent in her case, she may also take a tablet of Bacterium or Norflox 500 within 2 hours of intercourse for couple of ensuing weeks. 6. She needs to be examined and investigated for any external or internal anatomical abnormality.


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