Aunt Vadge: I did the antibiotics, but I’ve still got urinary tract symptoms – help!

A young woman sits wrapped in a blanket on the couch after suffering the flu and getting her first case of bacterial vaginosis.

Dear Aunt Vadge,

I was seeing a guy and afterwards I got a UTI. I took the treatments but kept the symptoms. I went back and retested, but my doctor said I didn’t have a UTI… I’ve also taken a pregnancy test which was negative, and an STD test.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me but its been over 2 weeks and I still feel burning when I wee and a frequency to pee.

Sincerely,
Jade
Age 22
United Kingdom

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Oh, Jade honey, that sounds pretty uncomfortable and frustrating. UTIs are no joke, and it seems like you’ve been through the wringer with this one. So, let’s break this down a bit.

First things first, it’s great that you’ve ruled out other potential concerns like pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections with tests from your doctor. Good on you for being proactive about your health! But, not all urinary tract infections (UTIs) are able to be detected by the usual methods your doctor might be using, namely, a culture or dipstick test (which are both known not to be that fantastic).

But, there can be some other causes of lingering bladder symptoms after an infection, so it’s important to work out if you do still have an infection, or if these are lingering symptoms. In the UK this might not be so easy as you have a free healthcare system that isn’t necessarily as up to date on the latest tests as the private retail market, but ask anyway.

Ask your doctor to test you for a known sexually transmitted bacteria type – not your classic STD, but still transmissible – ureaplasma or mycoplasma, which we know can cause urinary tract symptoms, but won’t be detected on regular (now outdated) tests.

Now, even though the tests came back clear, that doesn’t mean you’re just imagining things or that there’s nothing going on – I know that you know this. Sometimes, urinary symptoms are caused by bacteria that are simply not able to be cultured – but are sexually transmitted – like ureaplasma. So, getting the right test might be important.

Other reasons – if the UTI is truly gone – that you could have lingering urinary tract symptoms include:

  1. Interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome: This is a condition that can cause symptoms similar to a UTI but without the actual infection. It’s something worth talking to your doctor about, as it needs a whole different approach for relief.
  2. Pelvic floor dysfunction: If your pelvic muscles are a bit too tight or go on strike and don’t relax properly, it can lead to symptoms like frequent peeing and discomfort.
  3. Irritation: Sometimes, even things like soap, bubble bath, or even the type of undies you wear can cause irritation that mimics UTI symptoms.
  4. Post-infection inflammation: After an infection, your bladder might still be inflamed, which could cause lingering symptoms.

Sweetheart, I know it’s wearying when you’ve got the old fire-down-below, and you just want to feel like yourself again. The best next step is to circle back to your doctor or a urologist with your ongoing symptoms. They might decide to look a bit deeper – maybe with an ultrasound or some other fancier tests – to figure out what’s putting your bladder in a twist.

In the meantime, here are a few auntie tips to keep as comfy as possible:

  • Use reflexology to help keep symptoms at bay – it’s free, and you just need a little practice
  • To try to skip all the testing and other annoyances, you can try Aunt Vadge’s Oral UTI Blends – they work amazingly well on urinary tract symptoms, on both bacteria and soothing the whole area – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (if they work, you can just move on with your life, no testing required, and there is fast and free shipping to the UK)
  • Drink plenty of water to keep the urine flowing during daytime hours (but don’t overdo it — enough to prevent your wee from turning into paint-stripper or keeping you up peeing at night)
  • Try a teaspoon of bicarbonate soda in a glass of water to alkalise your pee (not a solution, but may help soothe symptoms)
  • Avoid irritants like caffeine, alcohol, spicy and acidic foods, which can take your bladder from simmer to boil
  • Slap a heating pad on your lower belly or back for some comfort when things feel “a bit heated”
  • Or, use an ice pack to take down the inflammation a notch – whichever feels better

It’s so important to listen to your body and keep pushing for answers if you feel something’s not right. If you’re feeling like you need a bit more support in figuring this out, don’t hesitate to snag an appointment with your healthcare provider. If you’re not getting the help you need from your doctor, and they keep telling you nothing is wrong when it clearly is, book with one of our specialist practitioners for one-on-one support. We will help you.

You’re doing all the right things, love. Hang in there, and I’m sending all my best for a speedy resolution to your toilet troubles!

Love,
Aunt Vadge



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