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Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs), also known as chronic urinary tract infections, are defined as having at least 2 infections in 6 months, or 3 infections in 1 year. Often, they are caused by a type of bacteria that is different from the infection before it, which means that the new infection is separate from the last infection. One treatment option for recurrent UTIs involves taking low doses of antibiotics daily for at least 6 months. Steps that may help prevent UTIs include drinking plenty of water, taking showers instead of baths, and drinking cranberry juice.

What Are Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections?

Many women suffer from recurrent urinary tract infections, which are also known as chronic urinary tract infections (UTIs). Statistics on chronic UTIs include the following:
 
  • Nearly 20 percent of women who have a UTI will have another UTI
  • 30 percent of women who have two UTIs will have another UTI
  • 80 percent of women who have more than two UTIs will have recurrences.

 

Men also frequently get repeat urinary tract infections.

 

Recurrent urinary tract infections are defined as having at least 2 infections in 6 months or 3 infections in 1 year.
 

What Causes Them?

Recurrent urinary tract infections usually stem from a strain or type of bacteria that is different from the infection before it. This means that the new infection is separate from the last infection. Even when several urinary tract infections in a row are due to E. coli, slight differences in the bacteria indicate distinct infections.
 
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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