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What is the treatment for recurring bladder infections? How do I preven...
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Questions in the Urology forum are answered by medical professionals at Healthcare Magic. Topics covered include benign prostate disease, penis curvature, cystisis, kidney stones, pediatric urology, prostate, sexual dysfunction, urinary tract infections (UTI), and urological cancers.

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What is the treatment for recurring bladder infections? How do I prevent them?

Dear doctor,

I am a foreigner living in Korea and have limited access to English speaking doctors.

I have been getting recurring bladder infections for the past 1.5 years.  On average I experience one infection every 4-6 weeks.  I have found some relief by taking over the counter sachets of cystitis medication; however, I feel like I need to take these frequently when I feel discomfort, so I don't get a full blown infection.

When I was living in the west I was told that the infections were due to my boyfriend and I having sexual relations.  This was explained as a "honeymoon period" and usually only lasts for 3 months or so or until your body builds up a resistance to the new bacteria.

I am wondering why, after 1.5 years with the same partner, I am still getting so many infections?  We use condoms during intercourse as was suggested by a doctor; however, the infections keep occuring (about 3-4 days after intercourse).

Do you think there is a more serious problem occuring here?  What do you suggest for medical treatment or tests that I can ask the doctors here to do?  Please help, as this is such a frustruating thing for both my partner and I to deal with, not to mention being treated by doctors who don't always speak English.
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Anatomical abnormalities of the lower urinary tract can make one more prone to infections.  A cystoscopy or pyelogram can be considered to evaluate for this possibility.

If chronic infections become a problem (i.e. more than 3-4 per year), you can consider prophylactic medictions to prevent future infection.  

These options can be discussed with your personal physician.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
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