I'm a 42-year-old woman with chronic urinary tract pain. My doctor did a urinalysis and found a UTI in November, and treated me with erythromycin. The pain continued, and after two months she went ahead with a urine culture. Though there were some white cells, there was no infection. She says that when I've weaned my baby (I plan to breastfeed at least six more months) she will treat me with tetracycline, as she suspects female urethral syndrome. My husband is concerned about the delay, since he worries that I may be suffering from a more serious condition, possibly cancer.
Urinary tract infections in females are common. This is due t the proximity of the urethra to the anus . In addition, the female urethra is short which allows the bacteria to access the bladder. Oftentimes a urinary tract infection can have symptoms that linger after it has been treated. The inflammation and irritation can last one to two weeks and even longer. Other possibilities include interstitial cystitis, kidney/bladder stones or dysfunctional voiding syndrome. A urologist can evaluate you for these conditions.
Interstitial cystitis is a disorder that affects approximately 43,500 women in the United States. It is characterized by pain, frequent voiding , burning and urgency in the absence of any evidence of infection.. Treatment is largely directed at alleviation of symptoms. Many drugs have been evaluated in the treatment of IC. Recent attention has been given to Sodium pentosanpolysulfate ( Elmiron), tricyclic antidepressants such as amitryptiline, and bladder instillation with various agents such as DMSO and BCG.
This information is provided for general medical education purposes only. Please consult your physician for diagnostic and treatment options pertaining to your specific medical condition. More individualized care is available at the Henry Ford Hospital and its satellites (1 800 653 6568).
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