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Symptoms but tests are negative

Is there a strain of bacteria, maybe something new, that could be causing the symptoms of a bladder infection in women that do not show up in the urine sample?  I have been through this so many times, and I read farther down this forum that two other girls have this same problem, so I can't help but think that something is going on.  My symptoms are as follows:  I will begin to feel as though I am getting a bladder infection, I will go to my doctor who will test my urine for bacteria but it comes out negative.  He will prescribe antibiotics for me 'just in case', and when I take them, I start to feel better and the symptoms go away.  I will usually be fine for a couple of months and then it starts again, same symptoms, same negative test.  But when I take antibiotics, whatever 'it' is clears up and goes away.  There was only one time when I didn't take them just to see if it would go away on it's own, and it felt like whatever it was, was doing a slow 'simmer' for lack of a better word, and by the end of the month, I was in so much pain I could barely stand.  After I started the antibiotics, it cleared up and went away.  What in the world is going on??  If there's no infection, why would antibiotics help then?  I've been tested for other things, including IC, and everyone says I am fine.  If I am fine, then what is this?  I can't help thinking there has got to be some kind of infection somewhere if I'm feeling the way I am.  My questions are - What kind of infection could I (and the others below) possibly have that doesn't show up in the urine?  And why would I keep getting this, whatever 'this' is?  I am 50 years old and have already been through menopause, in fact it was during this time that all this started.  I would normally think that maybe something else is going on that makes me feel like this and simply comes and goes.  But if I don't take antibiotics, it doesn't 'go', it just keeps getting worse.  

Do you have any idea at all what is going on?  Or have you ever heard of such a thing?  I would appreciate any insight you could give, as nobody else, not even my own doctor, seems to have an answer.  Thank-you so so much.
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233190 tn?1278549801
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hello - thanks for asking your question.

Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common in women. However, there is no evidence that recurrent UTI leads to health problems such as hypertension or renal disease, in the absence of anatomic or functional abnormalities of the urinary tract.

A number of factors also appear to increase the risk of recurrent UTIs.

Biologic or genetic factors
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