Urinary tract infection (UTI) is primarily treated with antibiotics, which can help in resolving symptoms. Sometimes, however, UTI symptoms can linger even after antibiotic therapy. Reasons for this may include:
What causes UTI symptoms to linger even after antibiotic treatment?
Antibiotic resistance occurs when the bacteria causing your UTI don’t respond to the administered antibiotics, often because of frequent use.
This is especially true for people who have chronic UTIs. When antibiotics are used frequently or constantly, the bacteria may evolve and become resistant to them.
E. coli is the most common bacteria that causes UTI. However, if your UTI is caused by a less common bacteria strain, or even a virus or fungi, there is a chance that the antibiotic prescribed to treat the infection is not the right one and therefore ineffective.
For people who don’t respond to the standard therapy for E. coli, a urine culture may be necessary to look at what is causing the UTI.
Sometimes, UTI symptoms don’t resolve with antibiotics because it turns out you don’t have a UTI at all, but instead a condition that causes UTI-like symptoms. These conditions may include:
- Cystitis (bladder irritation)
- Overactive bladder
- Kidney infection
- Kidney or bladder stones
- Prolapsed uterus
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Genital herpes
- Bladder cancer
- Prostate cancer