Treatment varies for individuals that have UTI or recurring urinary tract infections. The most common treatment for urinary tract infections is antibiotics. However, for men that have recurrent urinary tract infections, your doctor may prescribe a low dosage antibiotic for a longer period of time. Staying in direct communication with your doctor will help to monitor progress and treatment solutions.
If there is an obstruction found that leads to recurrent UTIs, we would try to correct the problem – e.g., remove an obstructing kidney stone, close a fistula, or take out mesh or sutures in a bladder that was previously operated on.
If there is a problem emptying the bladder, we try to find a way to improve bladder emptying – e.g., eliminate medications that depress bladder function, teach you how to void on a schedule, offer pelvic floor physiotherapy, and teach self-urethral catheterization, if needed.
For uncomplicated UTIs, we will remind sexually active women to avoid intercourse, avoid spermicide use, and perhaps try cranberry products which reduce bacterial adherence to the bladder. In post-menopausal women, the use of vaginal estrogen cream or an estrogen ring may be beneficial.
In cases of either uncomplicated or complicated UTIs, we may advise the use of antibiotics in one of several ways:
- If infections seem to always occur after sexual relations, we would suggest voiding soon after having sex and taking an antibiotic pill soon after intercourse.
- If the infections are unrelated to sexual activity, you may choose to:
- Take a 3-day course of antibiotics when you recognize the onset of UTI symptoms (we call this self-start antibiotic therapy).
- Take a suppressive (low) dose of an antibiotic for a period of time (typically for several months), and then try to stop using them. Prolonged use of antibiotics can lead to side effects and often bacterial resistance.