Recurrent Complicated Urinary Tract Infection

Recurrent Complicated Urinary Tract Infection (rUTI)

Recurrent Complicated Urinary Tract Infections (rUTIs) are an all too common occurrence in patients who have conditions such as bladder dysfunction or a blockage in the urinary tract. These infections are caused by bacteria and can lead to reoccurring and painful symptoms. Although they can be very uncomfortable, most rUTIs can be treated effectively.

Signs & Symptoms of a Recurrent Complicated Urinary Tract Infection

The most common signs and symptoms of a recurrent complicated urinary tract infection can include:

  • Frequent and painful urination
  • Cloudy or bloody urine
  • Pain or pressure in the lower abdomen
  • Back or side pain
  • Feeling a strong urge to urinate (without much urine coming out)
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Causes of Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections

Most recurrent UTIs are caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract. This can happen for many reasons, such as:

  • Not drinking enough water
  • Having diabetes
  • Some medications (particularly those that suppress the immune system)
  • Prolonged use of a catheter
  • Bladder or urinary tract abnormalities
  • Weakened immune systems

Treatment of Recurrent Complicated Urinary Tract Infections

Treating recurrent complicated UTIs will depend on the underlying cause and how severe the infection is. Treatment may include:

  • Antibiotics. Antibiotics are the most common form of treatment for UTIs. The type of antibiotic used will depend on the specific type of bacteria causing the infection.
  • Dietary and lifestyle changes. Your doctor may recommend changes to your diet to help reduce the risk of recurrent UTIs. This may include avoiding certain foods and drinks that can irritate the bladder.
  • Surgery. In some cases, surgery may be recommended to treat the underlying cause. For instance, if the infection is caused by blockage in the urinary tract, surgery may be needed to remove the obstruction.


Recurrent complicated UTIs are a frustrating and painful issue, but with the right treatment, they can often be managed. If you think you may have an infection, contact your doctor for an evaluation and to discuss treatment options.