The current situation

Many chronic urinary tract infection (UTI) sufferers have had their symptoms dismissed by their GP or urologist because of unreliable dipstick tests and mid stream urine specimens.

Along their journey to find answers for their so called ‘mysterious’ symptoms many patients undergo countless procedures that can be invasive, possibly unnecessary and can exacerbate symptoms.

Recent research suggests chronic lower urinary tract symptoms may be caused by untreated bacterial infections.

What is the most reliable way to diagnose chronic UTI?

The most useful thing that a doctor can do is to listen to their patient and ask detailed questions about their symptoms and how they started. The standard urine test used to diagnose a UTI is now thought to be less effective and may not detect all infections.

Some research suggests a more effective way to diagnose chronic UTI is

  • microscopy, analysing fresh urine under a microscope to count white blood cells and epithelial cells
  • combined with listening to a patient’s story.

Talking to your GP or consultant

We know it can be difficult to explain all this and describe your symptoms in a short doctor’s appointment. We worked with doctors to produce a chronic UTI explainer which explains the issues with testing.

Take our information sheet for GPs to your next appointment.

Early detection is key to preventing chronic UTI. We need wider acknowledgement that chronic UTIs are a genuine and increasing medical condition.

Testing for an infection

For further information about recurrent and chronic UTI, the following websites have more information.  CUTIC has no affiliation with any of these websites.

Bladder Health UK

Chronic UTI Info (UK based)

Chronic UTI Australia

Live UTI Free (US based)

Treatment options for chronic infections

A number of specialists now treat specifically for chronic urinary tract infections. You can read about the various options available globally listed above.

It can take time to find the right combination of treatment or treatments to successfully reduce your symptoms and the infection. The length of treatment will also vary for everyone.

Don’t forget to take into account your other health concerns alongside your bladder infection and ensure any medical professional treating you is aware of these.

Research, research, research

Always research as much as possible but bear in mind that many research studies and news stories focus on acute UTI rather than chronic infections.

A new 10 year study Recalcitrant chronic bladder pain and recurrent cystitis but negative urinalysis: What should we do? specifically addresses chronic UTI.