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How long can cystitis/UTI symptoms last?

This is kind of a long one, thanks for reading.  So I'm a male, 33, contracted a UTI presumably from an improperly sterilized intermittent catheter (self-inserted).  I sometimes have to use a catheter anyway (mainly for shy bladder syndrome, but a few times I also had urinary retention from NSAID drugs or something), and I was running low on catheters, so I washed but didn't properly sanitize some of my catheters for several uses.  A few days later, I got a fever, and other UTI symptoms.  I then went to the doctor and was treated for UTI with antibiotic Macrobid (the urine culture later came back positive for Staph).  

This was over three weeks ago now.  Macrobid was 5 day dose, I took the full course.  I didn't notice all that much improvement even over the course of a week, it was very gradual but still pretty miserable a week after I started the antibiotics.  So I went back to the doctor.  He put me on Cephalexin.  I took it for a few days.  Urine culture came back negative.  By that point I was feeling quite a bit better.  I stopped taking the Cephalexin.  By the next day or two, the symptoms were basically gone.  Then I was symptom-free for about 3 days (hallelujah).  Then the symptoms came back.  So I started taking the Cephalexin again.  That was a few days ago, and the symptoms are still present.  Doctor asked me to come in again for urine culture test tomorrow which I will do.  

I can identify a clear pain spot on the left side of my bladder.  Sometimes it seems to also move down into my left leg somewhat.  Throughout this infection/cluster of symptoms, there has always been this left-side leg/bladder/groin pain and tension, I guess due to where the infection is/was (early on it was really achy but did get better; for a few days I couldn't even walk a mile without aches the next day).  It is not a sharp and intolerable pain in the bladder, but it's pretty constant and frustrating (but not agonizing).  The day that the symptoms returned after resolving for a few days, I had taken a run on the treadmill, and it had been quite some time since I did this.  I was kind of hypothesizing that running might've brought this whole thing back..like irritated the spot or something, I don't know...again I'm puzzled by it.  

Basically what I'm wondering is if these are likely all just residual symptoms, and the infection has been dead for some time (as urine test two weeks ago showed).  I don't know why the symptoms would be that bad, except maybe I have a sensitive bladder?  I will mention that I do seem to have to go pee more than the average person, especially at night (this is when healthy/symptom-free).  I'll wake up 5+ times during the night on average, and usually there isn't much urine that comes out -- but I always have to empty or I can't go back to sleep.  I don't think I have any underlying bladder issues (aside from maybe sensitivity and the shy bladder I mentioned).  I did go to a Urologist once a while back and he didn't find anything superficially concerning or problematic, although we didn't get to doing any imaging...my symptoms during that time resolved and I didn't follow through on the imaging (basically I was having retention, and I ultimately concluded it was due to taking a lot of NSAIDs for back pain, once I stopped taking them and they got out of my system, I returned to normal).  

The more frustrating symptoms I get from this current thing are urinary retention.  Having to pee often or feeling pain or urgency is one thing, but not being able to empty is the worst.  I have had to use catheters in some cases.  This is especially bad at night when I wake up all these times when I'd normally drain my bladder easily.  I'll wake up and struggle and struggle to get that last little bit out, and if it's in there, it's really uncomfortable.  I've been taking otc med like pyridium, as sparingly as I can, which does help.  I seem to have an easier time emptying the bladder if the bowel also needs to be emptied.  

All in all the symptoms aren't that bad, I'm just puzzled by them.  The UTI is supposedly gone, but the symptoms persist...then they subside, and eventually symptoms come back...etc.  Any help or feedback is appreciated!  I'm coming up to almost a month since I first started noticing symptoms...so I'm definitely ready for this whole thing to be over and back to my normal self.      
1 Responses
20620809 tn?1504362969
Eh, never stop taking an antibiotic until you have finished the entire dose.  You may have tested negative but likely there was some bacteria still there.  And this is exactly how resistance develops.  So, take a full course of antibiotics if prescribed to you.  I'd do another urine test.  These symptoms are the same as when you had the UTI?  I am glad your doctor said to come back in and would suspect you have another infection.  Running would not cause any of this.  
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