What are chronic UTIs? Why do they happen?
We hear lots of customer stories about experiencing painful and emotionally demoralizing UTIs. What is that like? Why does it happen? What strategies do people use to deal with them?
What Are Chronic UTIs, And Why Do They Happen?
Like an overly chatty neighbor or that weird smell emanating from behind a fridge, there are things in life you just can’t seem to get rid of.
For some people with vaginas, these constant pests are chronic urinary tract infections (UTIs), i.e. recurrent UTIs or UTIs that don’t respond to treatment. Today we will be learning more about a solution for some women who have experienced these painful and emotionally demoralizing UTIs from women who have first hand, as well as looking at other strategies to deal with this chronic annoyance.
The What and Why:
UTIs are infections of any part of the urinary tract, most commonly of the urethra (urethritis) or bladder (cystitis), and sometimes more rarely they become infections in the kidney (pyelonephritis). UTIs are usually caused by a bacteria that enters the urinary tract via the urethra and begins multiplying in the bladder. The most common cause of UTIs in women is E.Coli. This is because the urethra is close to the anus.
UTIs can cause inflammation and infection, which results in pain and burning during urination, a persistent urge to urinate, urine discoloration, strong smelling urine and pelvic pain. When the kidney is infected the symptoms are more serious with things such as fever, nausea, vomiting, and flank pain. This is a very serious infection and you should seek immediate medical care if you have these symptoms.
Urethritis can occur when GI bacteria spreads from the anus to urethra. Overall, female anatomy places someone at a higher risk of UTIs because of the urethra’s proximity to the urethra to the anus, the urethral opening to the bladder, and the vagina. Sexual activity, some types of birth control, menopause, certain urinary tract abnormalities, a suppressed immune system, and in some rare cases sexually transmitted infections, can cause UTIs.
What Makes UTIs Chronic?
Your UTIs are considered chronic if you have more than two in a six month period, or more than four in a year. Certain autoimmune disorders, such as diabetes or kidney stones, may make someone more susceptible to UTIs. Additionally, sexual intercourse can continue to increase your risk.
Antibiotics over a period of seven days is the usual treatment for an UTI, but if you have chronic UTIs your doctor may prescribe a low dose of antibiotics long term, before/after sexual intercourse or at the first sign of infection. Untreated UTIs can lead to complicated kidney infections and other more serious risks such as sepsis.
How to Stop Chronic UTIs
There are steps you can take to reduce your risk of a UTI. This includes staying hydrated to dilute your urine, wiping from front to back to prevent spreading bacteria from the anal region to the vaginal and urethra and peeing ASAP after having vaginal sex. I’m sure you heard about cranberry juice as a magical UTI blocking elixir. While studies have not conclusively determined if cranberry juice can prevent UTIs, it’s likely not a harmful beverage to try. We suggest talking with your primary care provider for more ideas on how to stop UTIs.
At Stix, we heard stories from our customers about chronic UTIs that they just couldn’t get rid of or avoid. We’ve been there - we know how exhausting and confusing UTIs can be. So, we started looking for a more active solution and began working with urologists to create a daily protection supplement to prevent UTIs UTIs. This supplement is evidence-based and uses natural ingredients to protect against UTIs. One of our customers is just as excited as we are about our supplement:
“Finally a solution: I've been struggling with UTIs for nearly all 23 years of my life and have had a difficult time finding something to manage them. I finally found this supplement and have only had 1 over the year, as opposed to my 6 I usually have. This is definitely a lifesaver!” - Customer Review
UTIs, especially chronic UTIs, are frustrating and can leave you feeling isolated. Remember, you aren’t alone.