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Patient stories

Men, women and children get UTIs. Sufferers of chronic UTI share their stories

Rebecca was 23 when she developed an antibiotic-resistant UTI

“I had a UTI aged 15 which went away in one day with antibiotics. I never gave it a second thought but then ten months ago I got another. My GP prescribed three days of antibiotics and I felt better but on day four my symptoms came back.

I was in the worst agony of my life as my urethra went into spasm. I was hysterical on the phone to the out-of-hours GP (it was a Saturday) who got me to attend hospital. I was given another seven days of antibiotics but they didn’t clear the symptoms.

Two weeks after getting ill I went to my GP again and this time they did a urine culture. My dipsticks tests so far were positive. The culture found that I had a bacteria that was resistant to the antibiotics I had been given. I was only told this when I went back to the GP a third time. I was then given a week of a different antibiotic but my symptoms did not resolve.

My pain after peeing was dismissed as ‘irritation’. I saw a urologist who did X-ray, ultrasound and flow tests but found nothing. I was having flares of pain and symptoms but by this time my dipstick tests were negative and I was told that I could not have an infection.

A gynaecologist offered me prophylactic antibiotics but she knew that I already had an infection. My urologist put my symptoms down to inflammation but when a cystoscopy showed nothing, the suggestion was that this was an overactive bladder problem and all in my mind.

I had become suicidal at this point and was increasingly off work. One night I Googled ‘cystitis suicide’ and found an article about the LUTS Clinic. My first appointment was three months ago and I am now taking a combination of antibiotics.

My main symptoms are bladder awareness (feeling as though I need to pee all the time), restricted flow where I pee slowly and have to strain, and urethral burning which means it hurts after I pee.

It’s early days but my symptoms are already significantly better, particularly the bladder awareness. I have got my quality of life back. I am back at work, am no longer suicidal and I can socialise again.”