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Dear Betty,

I get UTI's A LOT. Probably every few weeks and if I'm lucky I get a month break.  I will admit I don't drink a lot of water and my urine is cloudy at times.  I am sexually active and on birth control.  My kidney's don't hurt, and never have.  I take macrobid every time I get a UTI.  What can I do to prevent getting them anymore?  Are there antibiotics I can take to prevent myself from getting UTIs?  I feel like I'm getting one now, but, I drank 64 ounces of water and the burning went away immediately. Does that mean I "flushed" it out?  I need your advice. Thanks.

 
Answer
 

Dear Reader,

It is important to get treated when you have symptoms of pain with urination.  The most common cause of UTIs is sexual intercourse due to the proximity of your urethra, vagina and rectum.  It is important to get up and urinate after intercourse, wash off your genital area with soap and water and drink a glass of water.  This will cause you to urinate again in a short amount of time.  It may be a bit of an inconvenience to interrupt an intimate moment, but, it could save you from getting yet another infection.  When you have symptoms of a UTI, such as pain with urination; increased frequency of urination; and urgency, you need to see a health care provider for a urinalysis.  When you are having frequent UTIs it is also important to have a urine culture to determine what bacteria is causing the problem and what antibiotics are effective.  You may also need to have a repeat urinalysis after antibiotic treatment to see if the UTI has completely resolved.  It could be that the bacteria causing your UTIs are resistant to macrobid.  It may feel better after drinking large amounts of water, because you have diluted the urine concentration, but, you still need to be tested for a UTI.  I would recommend making an appointment for evaluation with the SHCC or your health care provider.