When I first came in for problems with bladder infections I was incredibly frustrated. I’ve had bladder infections my entire life but for some reason with my new boyfriend of 6 months they seemed to be occurring nonstop. I felt as if my second address was the urgent care clinic on any given Saturday.
It had come to the point where he and I were no longer having sex because it seemed like without warning I would get another bladder infection. Another doctor had started me on post-sex antibiotics even though it didn’t seem to clearly correlate with sex each time. And I didn’t want to take antibiotics so often.
When I met my Athena doctor she assured me that they see cases like mine every day. She did such a thorough job taking my history and examining me. Given my prior history with infections, she told me she would give me a more thorough evaluation on the front end with imaging and evaluation of my bladder. She asked me to complete a voiding diary because she told me we would be looking for “risk factors” for UTIs.
The approach we used was very solution oriented. She said we would focus on risk reduction and improving my access to care when I had bladder infections. I almost cried when she gave me a self-start kit which gives me my own urine collection cups and antibiotics so that I no longer have to visit the urgent care and spend all that money for co pays. It also turns out that I wasn’t drinking enough water which was the main risk factor she found.
Once I knew I would have quick and easy access to UTI treatment when needed, I decided against randomly taking antibiotics after sex. Once I increased my fluids I was able to reduce my infections to about 1-2 per year which is way better than I was before. AND, when I do get a UTI I have my kit which makes treatment of my bladder infection easy and inexpensive!