Recurrent urinary tract infections in women

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95 Citations (Scopus)


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.

METHODS: 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.

RESULTS: 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).

CONCLUSION: 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)795-804
JournalInternational urogynecology journal
Issue number6
Early online date20 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


  • Recurrent urinary tract infection
  • Recurrent UTI
  • Women
  • Management
  • Prevention
  • Pathway


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