Recurrent urinary tract infections in women
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Introduction and hypothesis
Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) are more common in women and are frequently defined as ≥2 episodes in the last 6 months or ≥3 episodes in the last 12 months. In a primary care setting, 53 % of women above the age of 55 years and 36 % of younger women report a recurrence within 1 year. Thus, management and prevention of recurrent UTI is of utmost significance. This review aims to highlight the latest research in prevention strategies and suggest a management pathway.
A search was conducted on MEDLINE, Embase and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews databases for the latest systematic reviews and high-quality randomized controlled trials. Special emphasis was placed on the remit “recurrent” and strongly adhered to. Furthermore, a Google search was conducted for current guidelines on the management of UTIs.
Current prevention strategies include eliminating risk factors that increase the risk of acquiring recurrent UTI and continuous, post-coital and self-initiated antimicrobial prophylaxis. Other prospective preventative strategies, currently under trial, include use of vaccinations, D-mannose and lactobacillus (probiotics).
Although risk factors should be identified and addressed accordingly, individualized antibiotic prophylaxis remains the most effective method of management. Non-antibiotic prevention strategies such as cranberry, vitamin C and methenamine salts lack strong evidence to be introduced as routine management options and as alternatives to antibiotics. Based on current evidence and guidelines, a management pathway is recommended. Emerging therapies require further evaluation before they can be recommended.
KeywordsRecurrent urinary tract infection Recurrent UTI Women Management Prevention Pathway
Conflicts of interest
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