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The real reason why UTIs are becoming tougher to treat

by , 28 September 2016
The real reason why UTIs are becoming tougher to treat
Anyone who's had a urinary tract infection (UTI) before knows how evil and painful they are. Luckily, all you need is one round of antibiotics to get rid of them. But here's the thing: According to doctors, if you use these drugs too often, they can quickly start losing their effectiveness!

According to Sandip Vasavada, a urologic director at the Cleveland Clinic's Center for Female Urology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery in America, doctors are seeing an increasing resistance to the antibiotics used to treat UTIs. Are you also falling into this trend?

Health officials have actually been warning people about the risk of antibiotic resistance for years

It seems that both doctors and patients haven’t taken the warning seriously. In fact, one recent study showed that 30% of American patients’ antibiotic prescriptions were completely unnecessary. For example, some doctors gave patients antibiotics for a cold, which is a virus that doesn’t even respond to bacteria-fighting medications.
 
So how does antibiotic resistance actually start? Every time you take an antibiotic, the bacteria in your system is given the chance to practise fighting it off. Then, the bacteria that manage to survive thanks to resistance genes or certain mutations pass their survival tactics to the next generation and so on.

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Researchers stress that women are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics used to treat UTIs

A 2012 study found that the resistance of common UTI culprit E. coli to ciprofloxacin, one of the most commonly prescribed UTI antibiotics, had increased a whopping five-fold from 2000 to 2010.
 
While frequently taking antibiotics is therefore what ups your odds of forming a resistance, Vasavada warns that some women show antibiotic resistance after just a single round of drugs! This is scary, considering that half of all women will develop a UTI at some point in their lifetime, according to research.
 

Right now, there aren’t any effective UTI drugs that aren’t antibiotics on the market

There’s also very little sound research when it comes to preventative therapies for UTIs. However, there is evidence that proves that consuming cranberry juice can fight off a UTI. Vasavada clears up that it’s unclear how many cranberry pills you’d have to take or how much cranberry juice you’d have to drink to reap this benefit though.
 
So is there anything you can do to protect yourself against a UTI? Vasavada recommends drinking lots of fluid to keep yourself urinating and flushing out that harmful bacteria. She says that urinating after sex and wiping from front to back can help, too. If you think you may already have a bladder infection, it’s your best bet to see your doctor to make sure it’s the real thing.
 
Even if you think you can spot a UTI burn from a mile away, Vasavada suggests that you always check with your doctor to make sure that you absolutely need antibiotic treatment.

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