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“Urinary Tract Infections in Women: Will Probiotics Help?”

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) account for over 6 million primary care visits annually and are one of the most common bacterial infections in women. In their lifetime, about 50-60% of women will develop a urinary tract infection and one-third of women will experience at least one UTI by age 26. In the primary care setting, 53% of women over 55 years of age and 36% of younger women will have a reoccurrence within a year.  Treatment is often complicated by the high rates of reoccurrence. Women are diagnosed with recurrent UTIs if they have three UTIs with three positive urine cultures within a 12-month period or two infections in the previous six months.  UTI symptoms include dysuria, frequency, urgency, nocturia, suprapubic pain, and hematuria, all of which significantly impact their quality of life.  Escheria coli (E. coli) causes the majority of UTIs in women, accounting for 75% to 95% of infections. A review article by nurse Annie H. Chisholm found that continuous antibiotics are currently used as treatment and prophylaxis for recurrent UTIs.

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