Damn girl. I feel you. I know the only thing worse than a urinary tract infection is another urinary tract infection. It’s painful, it’s frustrating, and it can be really scary, especially when it keeps happening. These UTIs are known as ‘recurrent urinary tract infections’. They are symptomatic infections that follow the resolution of another episode, usually after doing all the right things (1). BAAAAAH!
An infection is considered ‘recurrent’ if you get more than one over the course of six months (3). Most often, this is a reinfection, caused by the original bacteria that just won’t go away – usually E. coli (1). It’s also possible to experience a relapse of the same infection, but either way, you have another UTI.
Insert house of horrors soundtrack!
You are awesome, but these are tricky infections are not, proven by the fact that we’re still relying on antibiotics to deal with them, even though we know that it’s not good to overuse antibiotics.
1. The first thing to note is that recurrent urinary tract infections are extreeeeemly common. Almost a third of women who get one will get another one within the next six months (1). I’ve seen studies that put this number even higher (2), and it goes up if you’re older, or in a primary care facility. So, nothing is wrong with you, and don’t let your partner tell you otherwise!
2. There are risk factors. Studies show that the frequency of sexual intercourse is the strongest predictor. And no wonder, think of all the movement and ‘contact’ going on down there, it’s a prime time for E. coli to get up in there, no matter how long a shower you take before you get into it. The term “honeymoon cystitis” acknowledges this as cystitis is a common lower urinary tract infection and honeymooning often means lots of ‘contact’.
3. It also matters when you had your first UTI – risk goes up if you were under 15 years old. Or if you have a maternal history of UTIs – ask your Mom if you’re comfortable to. Other risks are having sex with a new partner, or using a spermicide (1). It could also be more specific medical conditions, like vaginitis (postmenopausal), or abnormal urinary tracts, but these are less common (2).
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to get rid of a UTI quickly. If it has really taken hold then you need antibiotics. Beware of any home remedy or over the counter product that claims to replace antibiotics. What’s more helpful is changing our mindset from “treatment” to “prevention”, because that’s when our options increase.
Antibiotics are used for long term prevention and for some women they may be the only way to halt recurrence. For the rest of us, D-Mannose is the new tool we need to add to our medicine cabinets. D-Mannose actively prevents the bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract and causing infections in the first place. You can read more about it here.
We created MINGO, a drink mix that uses D-Mannose to target the “hooking on” progress by sticking to the bacteria and flushing it out when you pee so the infection can’t multiply or happen in the first place. It uses a therapeutic dose of d-mannose (2,000 mg), and a few other simple and safe ingredients like Vitamin C and B6 to support the immune system and prevent irritation. We believe the best solution to UTIs is to stop getting them in the first place. Click here to read more about MINGO.
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(1) Kodner, Charles, and Emily K. Thomas Gupton. “Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections in Women: Diagnosis and Management.” American Family Physician, 15 Sept. 2010.
(2) Harding, Dr Mary. “Recurrent Urinary Tract Infection. patient.info/doctor/recurrent-urinary-tract-infection.
(3) Iliades, MD Chris. “When Urinary Tract Infections Keep Coming Back.”EverydayHealth.com, 2 Oct. 2009.