Recurrent urinary tract infections

Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2005 Dec;19(6):861-73. doi: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2005.08.003. Epub 2005 Nov 17.


Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common bacterial infections in women, and one in four of these women will develop a recurrence. Various risk factors predispose women of different age groups to recurrence. These factors include sexual intercourse, use of contraception, antimicrobials, oestrogen, genetics, and the distance of the urethra from the anus. Of the different pathogens, Escherichia coli is the organism most commonly isolated. A variety of treatment options has been proposed, including long-term or post-intercourse prophylaxis and patient-initiated therapy. Oestrogen and cranberry juice have also been used as prophylactic treatment adjuncts. At present, other therapeutic and preventive modalities are being investigated, including the development of vaccines to treat those most severely affected.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Beverages
  • Coitus
  • Contraceptive Agents / adverse effects
  • Estrogen Replacement Therapy / methods
  • Estrogens / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Postmenopause / physiology
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Care / methods
  • Urethra / pathology
  • Urinary Tract Infections / etiology*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / microbiology
  • Urinary Tract Infections / therapy
  • Vaccinium macrocarpon


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Contraceptive Agents
  • Estrogens