Treatment of uncomplicated urinary tract infection in non-pregnant women

Postgrad Med J. 1972 Feb;48(556):69-75.


A study of placebo treatment of acute symptomatic urinary tract infection in non-pregnant women showed that about 80% obtained sterile urine spontaneously within 5 months. About one-half of these had recurrent infection within a year.

Antimicrobials produced a high immediate cure rate, but only 45% maintained sterile urine for 2 years. The recurrence rate was highest during the first 2 months after treatment, and thereafter nearly constant during the subsequent 20 months. Twenty-nine percent of recurrences were recrudescences and 71% reinfections. About one-sixth of the patients had a very high recurrence rate, 2·6 infections/year, as compared with 0·32/year in the remainder. Nearly all of these patients had their first recurrence within 5 months of the initial treatment. The probability of recurrence increased with the number of previous infections. Some patients, however, after a period with many recurrences, showed a remarkable decrease in recurrence rate.

If the aim of treatment is to keep periods of bacteriuria to a minimum, it is necessary to do frequent urine cultures for at least 6 months after elimination of bacteriuria.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacteriuria
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Placebos
  • Recurrence
  • Time Factors
  • Urinary Tract Infections / drug therapy*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Placebos