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Urinary tract infections are very common. In fact, they are the second most common type of infection in the body and affect more than 3 million people annually.
If you are among the unlucky few who get UTIs frequently though, you dread the first tingle alerting you to yet another infection. But, what can you do to avoid getting them?
“Urinary tract infections cause significant pain and anxiety, so those who get them frequently really want answers,” said Melanie Blais, Certified Urological Nurse Practitioner at Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa. “Fortunately, there are everyday changes you can make that can help.”
In women, UTIs usually occur due to bacterial invasion into the bladder from surrounding structures. Female urethras are short and close proximity to anus is thought to facilitate introduction/inoculation. “For those with recurrent infections, their bladders may not empty as well and have a ‘sticky’ lining that bacteria can attach to more readily,” Blais said. “In other cases, women do not drink adequate fluids, often to prevent incontinence, which can lead to increased incidence of infections. For others, lack of estrogen predisposes some to be more susceptible to infection.”
If you have three or more UTIs in a year, see a urology specialist. “You can be treated for infections, however, you also could have atrophic vaginitis, pelvic pain syndrome or bladder pain syndrome,” Blais said.
You can have your symptoms evaluated at PCI Urology by highly trained experts who specialize in female urology. Call (319) 363-8171 for an appointment. Referrals not needed unless required by your insurance.