Why Do Women Get Recurring Urinary Tract Infections?

I have had ultrasounds and all my annual gynecological exams have been normal. My doctors continue to treat it with Bactrim unless there is evidence of E. Coli bacteria. I have started to track the occurrences and it appears they occur within one to two days after sexual intercourse. This is not the only time but it accounts for 90 percent of my occurrences.

While my doctor says she can give me an antibiotic to take after intercourse, I wonder if I could have severe scar tissue which needs attention. What are some of the reasons for recurring bladder infections and what should I ask my doctor to do now?

It is extremely common for women to have urinary tract infections (UTIs) after intercourse. Some women may be unlucky enough to have them almost every time they have intercourse, and others will go through their entire life without ever getting one. Possibly the length of the urethra is shorter in some women, making it easier for bacteria to be pushed up into the bladder by the friction of intercourse, or there may be differences in the cells which line the bladder in some women, making it easier for the bacteria to attach to the cells and cause the infection.

A UTI is not a sexually transmitted disease, although associated with sex, and the germ actually causing the infection probably comes from the woman herself, not from her partner. The germ is almost always E. Coli, which is present around the vagina in all women. Bactrim, a combination antibiotic, is commonly used to treat them. I doubt that scar tissue would be a problem unless you have had surgery on your bladder, or some cystoscopic procedure, in which an instrument is inserted into the bladder.

There are a number of simple things you can do to try to cut down on the infections. In some women using a diaphragm for contraception makes them more susceptible. There are some studies indicating that nonoxydol-9, which is present in the jelly used with diaphragms, cervical caps, and in the lubricant on condoms, may increase infections. Talk to your doctor about alternative contraception if you are using one of these methods. Try to urinate immediately after intercourse to wash out the germs. Drink cranberry juice: It has been shown to reduce UTIs in women. If none of these work, taking an antibiotic after intercourse is a very reasonable approach.

The information provided on Health Search Online is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.