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Struggling with recurrent UTIs? You're not alone. UTIs are the second-most common infection in the United States. Half of all women get UTIs, and 30-40% of women who've experienced a UTI will face one again in a few months.
The key to breaking the cycle of recurrent UTIs is to kill old bacteria, prevent new bacteria from taking hold, and build up your body's natural defense mechanisms. At Uqora, we make products that do all three. Take Uqora Control daily to break up biofilm that causes recurring UTIs. Drink Uqora Target after sex or exercise to flush out any new bacteria introduced. And give your body an added boost with Uqora Promote—a probiotic designed to arm your body with healthy bacteria that fight the good fight.
A recurrent UTI, also called a chronic UTI, is an infection that keeps coming back, even after treatment with antibiotics. These infections can happen anywhere from a couple times a year to multiple times per month. For the person suffering, it's endlessly frustrating. Each new infection means more pain, visits to the doctor, and rounds of antibiotics.
The cycle is brutal and tough to break. Despite antibiotic treatment and otherwise good health, 26-44% of women will experience another UTI within six months after their first infection.
Recurring UTIs can occur for a couple reasons:
Unfortunately, standard UTI treatments aren't always effective because bacteria are in a constant arms race with antibiotics and the immune system. They can adhere to the bladder wall and join together to form a protective shield called biofilm. Inside this safehouse, bacteria are hidden from the immune system. Even urine tests can fail to detect them, which is why so many people suffering from recurring UTIs will get false negatives when tested.
Biofilm allows these bacteria to live long periods of time inside our own cells, adapting and multiplying. And when future courses of antibiotics weaken the immune system, bacteria seize the opportunity and create a new infection.
Sometimes gender, age, preexisting conditions, and other unavoidable circumstances put people at higher risk for recurring UTIs. Here are some examples of groups that are more susceptible.
The best UTI prevention helps control the growth and production of bacteria within the urinary tract. The prevention methods that help flush out bacteria with good hydration work well. A treatment plan that breaks down the biofilm bacteria use to protect themselves can have long-lasting results in preventing a UTI.
Here are some simple steps you can take to reduce your risk for chronic UTIs:
When UTIs keep coming back, doctors will often prescribe "prophylactic antibiotics," or a constant, low dose intended to prevent new infections. But that can just lead to bigger problems. Each course of antibiotics puts you at higher risk for developing an antibiotic-resistant infection, which means future treatments may not be effective.
In a recent study, Urinary Tract Infections: Epidemiology, Mechanisms of Infection and Treatment Options, the authors concluded: “Moreover, high rates of recurrent UTIs suggest that antibiotics are not an effective therapy for all UTIs."
Antibiotic resistance is generally known to be a contributing factor in repeat occurrences of an infection. The World Health Organization has been tracking the rapid growth of bacterial resistance to various antibiotics; after a virtually zero measurable effect in the 1980s, the problem has grown to become widespread and one of great concern.
One of the most common pathogens associated with urinary tract infections is Escherichia coli (E. coli), a bacterial strain which has been attributed to greater than 85% of UTIs worldwide according to the CDC. The antibiotic resistance rate for E. coli is also rising rapidly. Klebsiella pneumoniae and Staphylococcus saprophyticus can also cause urinary tract infections. Like E. coli, these bacterial strains are showing a growing resistance to antibiotics.
As mentioned, bacterial biofilms also play a significant role in the development of chronic UTIs. After treatment, a majority of UTI sufferers tested for the presence of bacteria in their urine were thought to be free of infection after testing showed negative results. Their urinary tract infections, however, returned. Biofilms can be blamed; their presence can result in patients being incorrectly assumed to be free of UTI-causing bacteria.
Free-floating microorganisms, such as E. coli, can attach themselves to a surface. In the case of urinary tract infections, the surface can be the bladder wall. After the first few microorganisms adhere to the attachment surface, they can be joined by others in a process termed dispersal. At this stage, the bacterial colony can spread on the bladder wall and increase in size.
The process eventually becomes irreversible and the colony begins to develop a protective external covering around itself. This is the biofilm, and it allows the bacterial colony to exist undetected and remain protected from the effects of medications. Because the bacterial colony remains encased within a protective shell, the body’s immune system is less likely to become aware of its presence and respond.
Only free-floating bacteria can be detected by standard microbiological urine testing. Negative test results will be obtained when no free-floating bacteria are present in urine, even if biofilm colonies remain attached to the bladder wall. When these undetected biofilm colonies eventually release bacteria, the body’s immune system will react and the acute and distressing symptoms of a urinary tract infection will once again begin to appear.
Biofilms are also formed by fungal microorganisms, but bacterial biofilm infections are the more common factor in UTI causes. The National Institute of Health has estimated that bacterial biofilms account for about 80 percent of human infections. Combined with the rise of antibiotic resistance, biofilms account for a great deal of the suffering that women with recurrent UTIs are forced to endure. The best approach to end the suffering can be found in taking preventive steps that will help to avoid both first-time and recurring UTIs.
Understanding why your UTIs keep coming back can help you prevent them. If you struggle with chronic UTIs and are sick of antibiotics, try Uqora. We make effective, safe products using ingredients found in nature to help women take control of their urinary tract health.
"I suffered from CHRONIC UTIs and have had some pretty serious repercussions from taking mass amounts of antibiotics. I have not had a UTI since I started taking uqora. I drink it after things that are my triggers (sex in particular) and it stops it in it’s tracks!"
Lacey, Uqora customer
This is for you if:
You want to stay fresh and maintain a healthy pH.
How does it work?
As you know, hygiene is a key part of UTI prevention. But not all wipes are created equal. Some can mess with your body’s natural chemistry and do more harm than good. Our wipes keep you clean, fresh, and balanced — without any nasty ingredients.
Use any time you want to freshen up. That might be after sex, exercise, long plane rides — you know your body better than anyone.
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Water, triethyl citrate, sodium benzoate, allantoin, lactic acid, carprylyl/capryl glucoside, glycerin, fragrance, sodium dehydroacetate, tetrasodium EDTA, citric acid, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, vaccinium macrocarpon fruit extract, calendula officinalis flower extract, sodium citrate, potassium sorbate.