Ask the Doctor
Questions about kidney disease? Risk factors? Signs and symptoms? Are you concerned about yourself, a friend or family member? Ask Dr. Spry.
New York, NY
October 6 , 1999
Recurrent urinary tract infections account for seven million office visits each year and about $1 billion in health care costs. According to the National Kidney Foundation, new studies report high success rates for self-treatment of UTIs in women with recurrent infections.
When UTIs recur, women learn to recognize their own symptoms, which enables them to self-diagnose and treat. The symptoms may include the following: pain in the lower abdomen and pelvic area, need to urinate often, urgent need to urinate, lower back pain, unpleasant odor in urine and burning sensation when urinating. Women in the studies were given a supply of antibiotics to take as soon as they noticed symptoms of a UTI, and most of the infections resolved within several days after starting the antibiotic.
Women who suffer from recurrent UTIs may be candidates for self-treatment. Under the care of a physician, they can receive a supply of prescription antibiotics to be used at the first sign of a UTI. When the antibiotics are used up, the physician can provide another prescription. Women who get four or more UTIs in a 12-month period, even with self-treatment, may need to try prophylactic treatment with antibiotics, which involves taking a daily low-dose antibiotic. If sexual intercourse is a precipitating factor in the UTI recurrence, women may be advised to take antibiotics just after sex, not on a daily basis.
Also visit: Important Facts About Urinary Tract Infections
For a free brochure on urinary tract infections call the National Kidney Foundation at (800) 622-9010.