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 are invasive, unnecessary, unhelpful and sometimes can even be harmful.

But new research suggests chronic lower urinary tract infections are caused by untreated bacterial infections – not inflammation.

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.

New research suggests the best 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 evidences the problems with testing and gives advice on how best to help patients.

Take our information sheet for Medical Professionals to your next appointment.

Early detection is key to preventing chronic UTI. We need doctors to acknowledge that chronic UTIs are a genuine and widespread medical condition.

Testing for an infection

Ideally all testing should be carried out on a fresh urine sample to stop the degradation of the key markers for an infection and inflammation – white blood cells and epithelial cells.

Our day to day support site explains more about testing methods.

Treatment options for chronic infections

A number of specialists now treat specifically for chronic urinary tract infections rather than acute ones. Our day to day support site Chronic UTI Info explains in detail the current treatment by UK specialists.

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 between person to person. We are all wonky in our own special way and what works for one may not work for another.

Don’t forget to take into account your other health concerns alongside your bladder infection. Any treatment path you follow for chronic UTI must ensure that you are treated as a person, not just an infected bladder.

Research, research, research

Always research as much as possible but bear in mind that many research studies and new stories are for acute UTI only 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.