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Patient stories

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

Kirstin, who works in the music industry, was admitted to hospital 24 times with UTI

“I had gone to bed one night with a slight niggling feeling that I was getting a UTI. I told my husband that if it didn’t clear in a few days, I would go to my GP. A few days later, it had become much worse – feeling sick, a temperature, frequency, urgency to wee, as well as back pain.

My GP did a dipstick test and it confirmed an infection. I was given a course of antibiotics and away I went. I completed this course, but the symptoms had not quite subsided. The GP decided to try a different antibiotic. This seemed to have done the job and I was happy. But two weeks later, I had yet again more symptoms of a UTI and was prescribed the first antibiotic again.

This went on for another year, until I was finally referred to a urologist who performed a cystoscopy. All they found was inflammation. I bled terribly for months after that, and after the procedure my symptoms became much, much worse, to the point that I was bed bound for nearly six months solid. I was admitted to hospital 24 times with extreme bladder and kidney pain.

I was told that I had interstitial cystitis and that all they could do was manage my symptoms. This procedure made my condition far, far worse than I was able to cope with. In time, I lost my identity, my job and all of my confidence.

I spent a year going to my GP with them sending off urine samples, only to be told countless times that there was nothing wrong with me. Then, through social media, I met a lady who was receiving treatment for urinary tract infection from the LUTS Clinic in north London. I returned to my GP asking if he would refer me on the NHS.

At the clinic they explained that I had epithelial cells and pus cells in my urine. I began treatment and, after nearly 17 months on antibiotics, I am fully better.

I believe the reason I developed this infection is because I was given the wrong antibiotics at a low dose. I was countlessly told I was imagining this and that would I benefit from CBT counselling. This was a huge insult to me.”