J Korean Med Assoc.  2022 Sep;65(9):594-603. 10.5124/jkma.2022.65.9.594.

Diagnosis and treatment of women with recurrent urinary tract infection

  • 1Department of Urology, St. Vincent’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea


Uncomplicated urinary tract infection (cystitis) is the most common bacterial infection among women visiting primary care clinics, and approximately 50% experience recurrence. Recurrent cystitis represents a substantial burden on the patients’ quality of life, healthcare costs, and antibiotics overuse.
Current Concepts
Symptoms remain the cornerstone of cystitis diagnosis, and urine culture is necessary if recurrent cystitis is suspected. Antibiotics (typically nitrofurantoin and fosfomycin) are the first-line treatment. Based on the resistance data, cephalosporins and amoxicillin-clavulanate are the second-line treatment recommendations. Fluoroquinolones are not the first-line options because of safety concerns and rising resistance rates. In considering patients with recurrent cystitis, it is important to assess the patient’s risk factors. Postmenopausal women may present differently and require different diagnostic and treatment approaches from that of younger women. Non-antimicrobial approaches to prevent recurrent cystitis are preferred due to tolerability, safety, antimicrobial resistance concerns, and patient choice. Oral immunostimulant is effective for any age, and vaginal estrogen therapy is additionally recommended in postmenopausal women. Self-start and post-coital antibiotic therapy and non-antimicrobial prophylaxis may be combined. Low-dose continuous antibiotic therapy may be considered for women in whom other regimens fail.
Discussion and Conclusion
To improve the quality of life and medical care of women, closing the gap between the physicians’ perceptions and patients’ needs is necessary. Furthermore, various preventive therapies for recurrent cystitis should be fully utilized.


Urinary tract infections; Cystitis; Female urogenital diseases; Therapeutics; 재발성 요로감염; 방광염; 여성 비뇨생식기 질환; 치료
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