Female with recurring UTI – USMLE exams

by / Monday, 09 August 2010 / Published in Internal Medicine, OB/GYN


It is not uncommon for a female to experience recurring UTI’s, but we must differentiate between “relapsing” and “recurring” urinary tract infections.


RELAPSING UTI – If infecting organism is the same infecting organism within 2 weeks, it is a relapse.

RECURRENT UTI – If infection occurs after 2 weeks with the same organism, it is recurrent.

Thus, it is important to get a urinalysis and urine culture to determine the cause.


  • When the patient experiences at least 2 infections in a 6 month period
  • If the patient can link their UTI to sex, a single dose of antibiotics after coitus may be effective
  • Before giving prophylactic antibiotics, it is essential to ensure the antibiotics get rid of the bacteria after a subsequent UTI

80% of UTI are caused by E.Coli, while the remaining are due to Klebsiella, Enterobacter, Staphylococcus, and group D strep.

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