Erin (natane) wrote in vaginapagina,

UTIs: I need some opinions.

I've been having UTIs for years. About 15 years now, when I do the math out. Jeez.

My mother says I got my first one when I was about 3 or 3 1/2. They persisted throughout my childhood and I got a full-body x-ray at 5 to check for anatomical defects (watching a projection on the wall of yourself with glowing pee/bladder is CREEPY). There were none detected.

I was at some point put on a daily low dose of antibiotics - some disgusting pink liquid stuff. I couldn't ride horses or bikes or take baths. Got told about 2435983495830 to wipe front to back, changed my underwear every day, etc.

Still had them on and off for years. From about 13-15? I don't know that I had one (I don't remember ever going to a doctor about it). We had no medical care at the time so I didn't get urine screenings done. However, I never know that I have one until I get urine cultured for some reason!

I started getting them again about two, two and a half years ago. Pretty much every time I go get a urine test done for whatever reason, I have one - like I said, I never know. I got one treated last summer, one the fall before that.

While I personally don't think it's related I did become sexually active a little under two years ago (mid-April 2008). I don't think it's related because summer of '08 I had copious amounts of unprotected sex for about 2 months straight and no infection.

This fall I had one right after I came to college. Got on antibiotics, had a yeast infection, yay fun, Diflucan, over with. Then in what I think was mid-November I got a kidney infection. Took a crapton of antibiotics, Diflucan, was good.

Then (if you saw my post you'll know) I found out I had another kidney infection Wednesday. I'm on antibiotics, tired as could possibly be, and I have a reserve of Diflucan for the probably inevitable yeast infection.

I have an appointment set with a urologist in about 2 weeks, but I wanted to come here and see if anyone had any thoughts that I can take to her, because I'm really running out of reasons for why I keep getting these, and since my immune system is kinda bad due to stress, I really need to stop getting them because I'm thinking they're going to keep escalating to kidney infections. And I can't keep loading my body with antibiotics and missing class.

My UTIs are asymptomatic.

"burning during urination"
Never had it. Ever. Not once in my life that I can remember. It feels precisely the same to me whether I have one or not. The only time it burns when I pee is when I have way too much sex and get irritated.

"low-grade fever"
My temperature tests the same almost every time: ~98°. It did both Monday and Wednesday (97.8 and 98.2), and Wednesday was when I got diagnosed with the kidney infection.

I'm always a little tired, but usually from not sleeping.

"constant need to urinate"
The last day or so, yes. But I didn't even think of it like that. I thought it was just drinking too much (I go through bouts of trying to drink more and loading my body with water, and then forgetting to). Or flushing some beers & pizza out of my system from Monday. I don't remember it happening at any point in the past before this, though.

"upset stomach" or even "vomiting"
Nope. How ill would you have to be? Apparently this is a common symptom of kidney infections. I've not gotten it.

"blood in the urine"
Never had visible blood in my life. I mean other than, of course, during my periods. They actually didn't even catch any blood during my first kidney infection - after, of course, they catheterized me D:

Obviously once it hits my kidneys it hurts, but I don't usually have bladder pains. May have, this time, but it also could have been my IUD poking me. Bladder & uterus are in the same place, basically.
The pain in my back was the only reason I knew anything was wrong Wednesday.

"lower abdomen discomfort/pressure"
Nope. None. Never, before a bladder infection. Not before a kidney infection either, obviously.

My mother's theory (which I put little stock in, honestly) is that birth control somehow changed the walls of my intestines letting yeast from there get into my bloodstream, which then set up residence in my kidneys, creating an environment for bacteria. There are a few problems with that.

1. I've only been on birth control for maybe a year and a half. Obviously I've had UTIs for years.
2. I don't believe in this whole yeast-causes-everything idea, whereas my mom does.
3. Even if it was somehow a magical horrible yeast infection, I've never had one orally or vaginally (except after antibiotics). And I've had Diflucan... twice now.
4. It sounds a lot like bullshit. She claims this effect is well-known and that it means people on HBC get more UTIs. I've never heard that. I know pregnant women (HBC is kinda like hormonal pregnancy) do, but I was under the impression that was due to baby on top of the bladder causing it to not be able to release all the urine, leaving "stale" urine there, which can be an environment for infection.

She's one of those people who... er... not to offend, but sits on the more "natural" side of medicine, which can be nice, but she also told me that I should stop taking any medication for my bipolar and just take fish oil. Uh, no. And she's pretty heavy on this yeast-causes-all-your-problems thing, but at least she's not telling me it's because I keep having sex with all these people and sex is horrible and bad and why do I have to have it, blah blah blah.

She's ordering me probiotics (250 count each of Bifidobacterium longum and Lactobacillus acidophilus each day), immune boosters (she's nuts about this particular one; I don't know much about it) and alfalfa tablets (something about changing my internal PH because that'll make the environment worse for the yeast?).

The probiotics are great, because I know I need them. The immune boosters can't hurt. The alfalfa tablets are yummy so I don't care if they work or not, but lowering the PH of my insides sounds a bit like bull to me.

Since January started... (and some of these things I've always done)
I had sex on New Year's. Anal, peeing after by both of us and a very hot bubble bath, vaginal. (Let me note I did anal to vaginal last spring and had no ill effects. I know, horrible, never do it again, but I don't think New Year's is the cause of this.

Had sex again on the 23 of January, straight-up vaginal, peeing after.

I try to pee before sex but usually don't need to so can't. Always pee after.

I wipe front to back, obviously, and fold tissue again for a second wipe - if it's not the greatest tissue I just get more.

I only rarely hold it when I have to pee - can't run out of class sometimes!

Have been taking cranberry pills and drinking (probably sugar-loaded) cranberry juice. The only other things I drink are water and soymilk.

I never use soap on my body or my vag. I wash my hair with Head & Shoulders and get my underarms with very gentle face soap. That's it (and besides the whole no-soap-near-vagina thing, it makes my skin really soft and keeps me from that soap → dry skin → lotion cycle). I get hot water & a washcloth around the butt area and sometimes wash my pubes and such out with warm water.

I always take showers, have for years, and never bubble baths on the rare occasion I take a hot bath to relax.

I know I don't have any STDs of any sort - I know Chlymidia can cause UTIs.

I rarely eat spicy things, because even though I like them there's not much here in my school cafeteria that's both spicy and palatable.

Don't wear thongs, all my underwear is cotton except for one pair that's polyester and basically mesh (and those have a cotton liner, and I rarely wear them) and I change my underwear every day. No tight pants.

I was on birth control from late winter/early spring of 2009 til January 13th. I got an IUD on the 15th of January. I haven't had a period since about... May 2009? and although I got a bit of kinda yucky spotting during December and January (due to my body adjusting to my BC and needing a higher dosage I think), I didn't use tampons during any point. I used two when I spotted a bit with my IUD insertion.

I can't think of what I'm doing wrong. At all. And I'm really getting sick of this, and angry with my body. I can't deal with this for another ten, fifteen years. I have to get this solved and done with, now. I need to be able to go to classes. Plus, I have another 3 years tops before I don't have Medicaid, and unless a miracle occurs and socialized medicine goes through, I won't have insurance.

So I won't be able to pay for hospital bills, antibiotics, urine tests, doctor visits...

So yeah. If anyone has any ideas or theories, I'd greatly appreciate it.

ETA: My previous kidney infection I was put on Cefpodoxime/Vantin and I did test clear after two weeks. I don't remember what they put me on for the UTI before that but I also tested clear after two weeks of antibiotics for that. This time it's Cefpodoxime/Vantin again.
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