The London Clinic, 120 Harley Street, London, W1G 7JW
Urine infections are very common. Many of us will experience a UTI at some point in our lives, along with symptoms such as burning when urinating or needing to pee more often. However, for some of us this isn’t a one-off or occasional problem. Some people experience frequent UTIs, which can be a sign of an underlying issue that requires treatment.
Urine Infections Keep Coming Back

Risk Factors for UTIs

The most common reasons for getting frequent urine infections are lifestyle factors, which can increase the chances of bacteria spreading around our bodies or starting an infection. Many of the bacteria that cause UTIs are actually harmless when they are living elsewhere and only start causing problems if they get into the urinary tract.

You are more likely to have UTIs if:
  • You are sexually active. You can reduce the risk by urinating after you have sex (whether you are a man or a woman). If you often get UTIs and you use a diaphragm, you might want to consider switching to another form of contraception.
  • You don’t drink enough water. Staying hydrated is important as it will ensure that you’re urinating regularly, which helps to clear out the urinary tract. Flavoured drinks can help keep you hydrated if you don’t enjoy drinking water by itself.
  • You don’t maintain good personal hygiene. The genital area should be washed with water every day. You can use personal hygiene products but avoid perfumed products or soaps as they’re bad for this delicate area. It’s also a good idea to wash before and after sex, to get rid of any bacteria that have been moved around. Wearing breathable underwear and changing it after you exercise can also help to keep you clean and healthy.
Changing any bad habits could help to prevent UTIs from coming back.

Antibiotic Treatment and Recurring UTIs

Urine infections can sometimes come back quickly. Your symptoms might go away and then come back a few days or weeks later. The infection can return because it has spread to another part of your urinary tract. It could also come back if you didn’t take all of the medication that your doctor prescribed. If you’re given antibiotics for a UTI, it is important to complete the full course of treatment, even if you start to feel better. Just because your symptoms have cleared up, it doesn’t mean that the infection is gone.

Conditions Linked with Recurring Urine Infections

Some conditions can increase the chances that you’ll develop a urine infection. You could be at increased risk if you have one of the following conditions:
  • Kidney stones
  • Bladder stones
  • Abnormalities in the urinary tract
  • Urinary incontinence that prevents you from emptying your bladder fully
  • Bladder or pelvic organ prolapse
  • Diabetes
  • In women, changes in your oestrogen levels (for example due to the menopause)
  • In men, prostate enlargement
If you keep getting UTIs then it is important to see a doctor to find out if there’s an underlying cause. You might need treatment to address this issue in order to prevent future infections or other problems.
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