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In rUTI, bacteria are persistent, and it is likely that both biofilm and embedded bacteria are at work. These infections can be very difficult to diagnose and treat, and they can lead to chronic inflammation and symptoms like urgency, pain, and irritation. The quicker a UTI is stopped, or even better, prevented, the lower the likelihood of developing into rUTI.
An initial UTI is just a UTI until those bacteria are able to form biofilm and/ or invade the actual bladder cells. However, once that happens, the UTI is now rUTI. Due to differences of these two disease states, “UTI” should no longer be used not as a blanket term describing these infections. More granular definitions are needed to account for their differences.
While certainly not exclusive to the population, rates of rUTI appear to be significantly higher in postmenopausal women (learn more about UTIs in postmenopausal women here). In younger women, rUTI can be caused by changes in the urogenital microbiome and triggered by sexual activity (learn more about why UTIs from sex may not be what you think here).
Those suffering from rUTI should seek care from a specialist who understands these infections and the need for close diagnosis and management with the patient.