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Treating Urinary Tract Infections

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Reproductive System related image Photo: Getty Images

Since about 1 in 5 women get repeated urinary tract infections (UTIs), the news that there may be hope for those who have this chronic problem is very welcome indeed. Currently, antibiotics are the chief way doctors treat this ailment. So why aren’t antibiotics satisfactory anymore?

Doctors are finding that due to repeated use of antibiotics by patients, antibiotic resistance is on the rise. Now researchers are trying to find non-antibiotic ways to treat such cases.

Chronic UTIs change the make-up of the vagina, stripping it of Lactobacillus crispatus (L. crispatus). Since a healthy vagina has ample amount of L. crispatus, the theory is that if this organism is replaced, infections will decrease.

In this trial, researchers tested 100 women who suffered from recurrent UTIs. Some were given antibiotics, others probiotics, and the rest, placebos. Those who received the placebos fared worst while those who had taken the probiotics did much better.

According to this study, published April 15, 2011 in an online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases, 13 women out of the placebo group developed UTIs after treatment but only seven out of the probiotic group developed UTIs. Even though these are preliminary tests, the results were very promising. However, doctors do admit that more testing is needed for evidence to be conclusive.

So, in the meantime, how can we work preventively at warding off UTIs? Below are a few tips from Womenshealth.gov:

• “Urinate when you need to. Don't hold it. Pass urine before and after sex. After you pass urine or have a bowel movement (BM), wipe from front to back.

• Drink water every day and after sex. Try for 6 to 8 glasses a day.

• Clean the outer lips of your vagina and anus each day [wiping from front to back]. The anus is the place where a bowel movement leaves your body, located between the buttocks.

• Don't use douches or feminine hygiene sprays.

• If you get a lot of UTIs and use spermicides, or creams that kill sperm, talk to your doctor about using other forms of birth control.

• Wear underpants with a cotton crotch. Don’t wear tight-fitting pants, which can trap in moisture.

• Take showers instead of tub baths.”


Frequently Asked Questions Urinary Tract Infections. Womenshealth.gov. Web. 23 December 23, 2011.

New Treatment for Urinary Tract Infections Call Promising. Health.usnews.com. Web. 23 December 2011.

Dita Faulkner is a freelance writer who writes a darn good blog!

Reviewed December 27, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment3 Comments

Thank goodness! I spend nearly a year on antibiotics, constantly increasing in strength, in an attempt to combat recurring UTI's. I was doing everything the doctors told me to, got tested multiple times for STD's (always negative), and even went to a urologist who said he couldn't find any reason for the infections. I finally quit going to doctors altogether and treated it naturally with cranberry supplements (not juice), water, and eliminating sugar from my diet for a while. I haven't had an infection in a few years now and I will never take antibiotics for anything non-life threatening ever again.

December 29, 2011 - 7:03pm
EmpowHER Guest

I Suffered from frequent UTIs. It wasn't until I started regular use of D-Mannose and treated my hypothyroid that I found relief.

December 29, 2011 - 4:43pm

As far as douches, try a light vinegar solution in distilled water.

Also try D-Mannose powder. Look it up at your fav natural nutrient store.

December 29, 2011 - 4:00pm
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