In the community UTIís (Urinary tract infections) are
among the most frequent infections encountered. Women
are more susceptible to UTI than men, also some women
are more susceptible to getting a UTI than others.
Genetic and familiar factors like blood type may play
a role. Women of blood groups B and AB who in addition
do not secrete certain blood substances are at higher
risk. Nothing you can change about this.
Most UTIís are preceded by vaginal colonization with
uropathogens or bacteria able to cause a UTI. Women with
recurrent UTIís are more susceptible to these bacteria
trying to inhabit their vagina.
In women before menopause the reasons for recurrent
UTIís are different than in post-menopausal women.
Before menopause sexual intercourse, use of spermicides,
and a history of a mother with UTIís or having had UTIís
in childhood are important risk factors.
In healthy women after menopause recurrence of UTIís
often has to do with the ability to completely empty the
bladder, lack of the protective effect of estrogen as
well as the non-secretor status of certain blood
substances. Obviously after menopause sexual intercourse
can also play a major role, especially if there is no
protective effect of vaginal estrogen.
Recurrent UTIís can be a frustrating problem.
Ask Dorothy, 78 years old. Dorothyís UTIís are usually
also more severe since she has diabetes mellitus. If
your immune system is down because of certain diseases
or medications you are also more prone to infections.
Dorothy made sure her diabetes became better controlled,
had given up on sex and started on vaginal estrogen.
Since most of her infections were caused by the bowel
bacteria: E. Coli, she had also started cranberry pills.
Because of Dorothyís diabetes mellitus large amounts of
sweetened cranberry juice would not have been a good
idea. Cranberry juice and blueberry juice reduce some of
the adherence of the bacteria. The usual dose for UTI
prevention is one-two 8 oz glasses. It does not help for
all bacteria and it definitely does not treat UTIís.
However if UTIís keep on recurring as in Dorothyís case
you have to pull out all the stops. Also some of these
products were thought to make urine more acidic. We know
estrogen makes the vagina more acidic and more resistant
to the uropathogens or bacteria we do not like to live
in the vagina. Also remember soap is alkaline, no matter
if you buy it imported from the Amazon rainforest or
unscented or just for babies. Baby wipes are clean if
the anus is just touched, however vaginas do not like
wipes. It again changes the acidity of the vagina, which
changes which bacteria like to live in the vagina. We
want lactobacillus to live there, not E.Coli and other
friends like Klebsiella and Pseudomonas. Will Greek
yoghurt or probiotics increase the amount of
lactobacillus in your vagina? It may help with some of
your resistance; all little bits may help.
Dorothy has pulled out all the stops and in addition
gets some medications in the bladder every 2 weeks.
Dorothy used to be admitted to the hospital regularly
for recurrent complicated UTI, but has not been for the
last year. She has not been totally infection free,
however has not required any intravenous antibiotics and
has had more energy in the last 1 year than the 5 years
before that together. Also since she has UTIís now very
infrequently they are much more susceptible to regular
antibiotics by mouth. Not everybody will require all
these measures, however UTI and recurrent UTI are a
significant health problem and burden. At Central
Florida UroGynecology in Rockledge, we can evaluate your
specific reason for recurrence of the UTIís and assist
you to either make UTI a thing of the past or
significantly less often and less severe.
Florida UroGynecology we have two female Board Certified
Urogynecologists; Katrina Davis, M.D. & Marja Sprock,
M.D. to help you.
Call 321-806-3929 or check us out at
Florida UroGynecology where high tech and common sense