UTIs can be treated with antibiotics, which are often very effective. Sometimes, however, antibiotics can fail. There are many reasons for this.
It is possible that you are still experiencing symptoms of your UTI after receiving antibiotics. Sometimes they may be getting worse.
UTI symptoms can persist after taking antibiotics
A 2019 study found that UTIs are the most common type of outpatient infection in the United States. UTIs can be treated with antibiotics.
A urine culture is not required before a doctor prescribes an antibiotic. E.coli is responsible for almost 90% of UTIs. A urine culture will likely show this.
UTI treatments don’t always work as expected. This could be due to three main reasons:
Your UTI is caused by an antibiotic-resistant strain.
Your infection may also be caused by another type of bacteria, virus, or fungi
Your UTI could be another condition with UTI-like symptoms
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A UTI that is resistant to antibiotics means the bacteria responsible for your infection doesn’t respond to treatment. This occurs when bacteria evolves in response to constant or frequent antibiotic use.
Antibiotic resistance is more common in people with chronic UTIs or underlying medical conditions.
If a urinalysis is done without a culture of the urine, there’s a chance that the antibiotic you are prescribed may not be the best one.
This could happen if your UTI is caused either by a more common strain of bacteria or a fungus or virus.
This practice could also be a cause for antibiotic resistance, according to research.
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UTIs may not respond to antibiotics in some cases. UTI-like symptoms could be caused by another condition.
Some conditions can mimic UTI symptoms, such as:
- acute cystitis
- interstitial cystitis
- Overactive bladder
- Kidney infection
- Kidney stones
- Genital herpes
- Bladder cancer
- Prostate cancer
Kidney infections and cystitis
Cystitis and kidney infection can both be caused by bacteria that has spread from a UTI to the bladder or kidneys.
These infections, like UTIs are usually treated with a course antibiotics. These infections can also be susceptible to antibiotic failure as with UTIs.
Sexually transmitted Infections (STIs)
- Common STIs such as chlamydia or gonorrhea mimic UTI symptoms.
- An antibiotic prescribed for an STI infection is unlikely to be the best treatment.
- Your doctor should order additional testing if you have been suffering from UTI-like symptoms and they have not responded to antibiotic treatment.