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Living with Recurrent UTIs: The Impact on Women’s Quality of Life

The intrusion of recurrent uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs) can be quite disruptive to daily routines and seriously affect health-related quality of life, as shown by studies. UTIs occur when bacteria make their way into the urethra, which is a tiny channel that allows urine to exit the bladder. Symptoms of UTIs include urination that is painful or burning, frequent urination, and blood in the urine. About three out of every 25 males and 10 out of every 25 females experience UTI symptoms in their lives, while some patients suffer from recurrent UTIs that require frequent administration of antibiotics.

A recent study published in the PLOS ONE journal on February 1 indicates that uncomplicated UTIs are significantly correlated with disruptions in daily activities, reduced productivity at work, and poor mental health-related quality of life (HRQoL). An inadequate response to therapy and the overuse of antibiotics could also exacerbate the problem.

To evaluate the impact of UTIs on women, researchers surveyed 375 adult females on their daily activity impairment, work productivity, HRQoL, frequency of healthcare resource use, and costs. The researchers discovered that UTIs affected the sleep quality of 60.8% of the individuals surveyed. Furthermore, 66.9% of the women polled claimed that UTIs had an unfavorable impact on their sex life. Also, 52.3% of participants reported that UTIs made it tough to exercise, while 46.9% reported that it made social activities difficult.

Women with recurrent UTIs reported more activity impairment, including longer time away from work, compared to women without recurrent infections. They also had higher medical expenses, both direct and indirect. Health-related quality of life was lower for women with recurrent UTIs compared to those without recurring infections.

Although uncomplicated UTIs are common, their impact on patients should not be underestimated, according to the study’s authors. To prevent negative consequences on quality of life and the use of healthcare resources, it is necessary to receive appropriate treatment. Consuming cranberries, blueberries, or unsweetened cranberry juice, as well as taking probiotics and vitamin C, may help prevent UTIs. D-Mannose, a kind of sugar that prevents certain bacteria from adhering to the bladder lining, is another supplement that can be considered. Antibiotics are the usual treatment, but some studies have shown that D-Mannose may be as effective as antibiotics in treating UTIs.

“Seeking the best treatment and diagnosis is crucial, and medical professionals can provide the necessary care,” the study’s authors concluded.