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Thread: Frequent UTI's, need help

  1. #1

    Frequent UTI's, need help

    The past several months now I've had frequent urinary infections. When I get urinary infections I become very aware of it from the start because my bladder begins to spasm causing chilled sensations throughout my body and a strange feeling in the crotch area. It's a very hard sensation to describe but it is very uncomfortable and actually causes my penis to shrink significantly in size. As soon as the spasms start either my mom or dad will catheterize me and the spasms go away, for the time being anyways. Usually a couple hours later they come back. Every time I have gotten a urinary infection I'd go get antibiotics immediately. I do this because many times my spasms cause me to get dysreflexic which basically feels like I'm dieng.

    Apparently I have built up an immunity to antibiotics and my immune system has become very weak. The past few months after the antibiotic has taken effect and I finish the prescription, two weeks later I get another UTI. It's quite a hassle continually getting these infections because it pretty much locks me down to the house not wanting to go anywhere because of the bladder spasms. And if I do go out while infected I don't drink much which isn't good for naturally getting rid of the bacteria.

    So recently I've begun racking my brain to figure out what to do. I have a very good urologist and he tells me the most probable reason is pressure in the bladder. Therefore according to him I must drink more and cath more often. I thought it may have a lot to do with the style of cathing I use, but he says this is unlikely. In fact, being as sterile as I am could cause more infections.

    The last infection I came down with I was able to see the urologist right away. I had a ton of sediment and because of my frequency of infections he used a small camera to look in my bladder for kidney stones. He found none, so prescribed me an antibiotic and strapped a Foley catheter on me. This was the first introduction to the Foley catheter since initially breaking my neck. I've wanted to experiment with the indwelling catheter for pleasurable reasons mostly, so that everyonce in a while I could get a break from the aggravating scheduling and managing of fluid intake.

    The next couple of days after putting the Foley on I drank as much as I wanted, flushed out the bacteria and never had any spasms. I had found a way to deal with my infections without having to run for drugs.

    So I came up with a minor plan to try and cut down on my infections.

    1) Drink more and cath more when possible.
    2) Stop drinking in the evening to cut back on high volumes at night.
    3) Boost my immune system by getting off the daily cranberry pill and using the Foley catheter to fight infections rather than drugs.
    4) Strap on a Foley every now and then even when healthy, to give myself a break from the bladder pressures and to flush out my system.

    I know people say that indwelling catheters cause more infections but it was my theory that doing it everyonce in a while could actually be healthy. Also, to a superficial standpoint I could actually go out and have fun without worrying about bladder pressures.

    I decided to go out Friday night with some buddies and put a Foley catheter on. I went out, drank a few beers and had a good time. That night when going to bed however for some reason the Foley failed to empty for the first three hours I slept. When I turned over to my other side, the bedside bag rose to more than a thousand cc's. Saturday evening I felt the bladder spasms arrive and I've begun yet another cycle of bacteria. It is my belief that the large volume which fail to drain that night triggered the infection. It seems I'm very sensitive to high volumes. I'm confused to why the Foley failed to drain and I am also frustrated at what I thought would help me ended up hindering me.

    All day long today I have been drinking quite a bit and simply cathing more often. Pretty much every time my bladder spasms I drain. I've yet to get dysreflexic but I'm worried about tonight. If I stuck to my original plan I would once again put a Foley on but since I believe it is the culprit of my present infection I am wary.

    This has been a long explanation of what's been going on. My basic questions are:

    How do I stop these infections?
    Why did the Foley fail to drain?
    Do all sci people get bladder spasms when infected?

    According to my urine cultures, the infections I'm getting are not that severe but are very annoying and limit me in what I can do. Any tips or opinions would be appreciated. Thanks.


  2. #2
    Hi Colin,

    Why did the Foley fail to drain?
    It seems as though when you were laying on your one side somehow the Foley or tubing got crimped blocking the flow of urine. And drinking alcohol is different from drinking non-alcoholic beverages. At first beer will make you urinate a lot, then after a while the alcohol in the beer will start to dry you out or dehydrate you. Then after a while the water in the beer catches up to you and you need to urinate a lot once again. Usually after you get home and are in bed. Hopefully you make it home safely and into your own bed! At least that's how it works with me.
    It's a very hard sensation to describe but it is very uncomfortable and actually causes my penis to shrink significantly in size.
    The uncomfortable sensation is a mild form of AD and the retraction of your penis is due to a heavy bladder bacteria colonization or a full blown UTI and is known as the "shrinkage factor". The termed coined by me thank you very much!
    In fact, being as sterile as I am could cause more infections.
    Don't believe that for a second. It's impossible to do a "sterile" catherization even with a brand new sealed cath kit using sterile gloves. See:

    I wrote three replies in there with additional input from the Nurse here at CC.

    The bacteria gets inside your urethra and is pushed into your bladder with the catheter. I've written more about this than I care to recall!

    But using a Foley every once in awhile if you're gonna go out and do a little drinking is a good idea. A lot better that trying to cath half a dozen times in those filthy bar room bathrooms or in a car or van.... especially if you're drunk! But a very "sterile-like" technique should be used when inserting Foleys and be careful that the balloon is fully inside the bladder and not in the urethra or bladder neck/sphincter before injecting the sterile water/saline solution in to the balloon.

    Take advantage of having a Foley in the next morning/day and drink a lot of water and fruit juices or whatever you want. It sure beats holding back because you don't want to go through the hassle of catheterizing every hour or two! But don't leave it in for very long... maybe 24 hours and then get it out. Unless directed by your doctor to do otherwise.

    Some people use Foley's just to sleep with. Or they tape a regular soft self-cath catheter in place and go the inexpensive route. But be careful with both of these procedures and learn more about it before trying it yourself.

    To keep from being colonized or getting a UTI you need to keep the bacteria out of your bladder. And the route to the bladder begins on the penis, then into the meatus, then up through urethra then into the bladder and finally into the ureters and kidneys. It's not rocket science... just common biology.

    And make sure your urologist does a C&S (Culture & Sensitivity) on your urine so the correct antibiotic can be prescribed. And after you've taken ALL of the prescribed antibiotics have another UA (Urinalysis) done to make sure all the bacteria has been killed.

    Best of luck Colin.... UTIs suck.
    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Montreal, Canada
    Are you taking anticholinergics (Ditropan, Detrol, Sanctura, Enablex ... ) to decrease the pressure in your bladder?
    Pharmacist, C4-5 injury but functional C6 (no triceps/flexors)

  4. #4
    I would see about getting your urologist to write a script for going on uroquid acid (tablets) and taking two tablets, two to four times daily. He might have to contact your prescription coverage to make a exemption for your formulary but I was in your shoes until I started taking uroquid acid tablets on a regular basis. It raises the PH level of your urine so that you are less likely to have colonization. You take it whether you need it or not. If peeing too frequently is still a problem maybe see about going on 2 mg of detrol along with 20 mg of sanctura or 5 of oxybutin in some combination

    Good luck.

    Last edited by NoDecafPlz; 08-06-2006 at 11:21 PM.
    And the truth shall set you free.

  5. #5
    It drains by gravity and it sounds like it had a kink or was not in the right position to drain freely. I would stick with IC and not use the foley cath.
    Maybe less beer? Drink alot of water between the beer.


  6. #6
    The only thing I could add that wasn't mention above is on your foley. The sediment in your bladder can clog the catheter from draining. You might try flushing it with sterile water to clear the catheter. It happens to me.

    And I would try not to use the foley that offen unless needed. I wish I didn't need to use one. Major UTI'S since I needed to use them full time.

  7. #7
    Senior Member jessie.gray's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Washington State
    One reason why the Foley didn't drain well is there could have been a blockage in the catheter. This has happened to me in the past when I've worn a Foley after surgeries. Crystals will clog the drainage holes and nothing will drain into the leg bag. For someone who can feel everything, this hurts like hell.
    I too get painful bladder spasms when I get a UTI. I think its because your bladder is irritated from the infection. I get spasms worse during a UTI than other times. I usually drink either cranberry or blueberry juice to calm my bladder down.
    As for the UTI and how to reduce them, my doctor put me on those closed system catheters that have some type of antibacterial coating on them (Rochester Antibacterial-Hydro closed system catheters), and that's reduced them quite a bit. I was also put on a long-term antibiotic, which helped too.


  8. #8
    I'm almost positive the Foley catheter was not crimped, and I am also pretty sure sediment was not the problem. I was thinking maybe it was because of the way the tubing was laid out. Possibly the urine could not quite make it to the bag through gravity and backed up into the bladder.

    First thing the doctor did when I went in for my frequent infections was increase my ditropan but it hasn't helped.

    It has been two days now trying to fight my current infection without drugs. I am drinking more fluids and cathing very often. I am constantly fighting off bladder spasms and usually cannot go past 300 cc's. None of my infections are all that serious but I think my bladder is very sensitive to bacteria for some reason.

    I have never heard of uroquid, but it sounds like something which could help.

    Thanks for the responses.


  9. #9

    I'm getting worse

    Since my last post the bladder spasms became worse and then along with the spasms came leaking. I was unable to cath in time before the leaking began so I put a Foley catheter in. No more spasms but I'm slowly beginning to feel worse it seems. Running a slight fever and getting flulike symptoms.

    I was really hoping to be able to beat this one without antibiotics but I don't think it's going to work out. In the beginning it was a minor UTI which I thought I could be beat. I'm betting if I get a urine sample taken the bacteria will not be enough in count for the urologist to prescribe antibiotics, but I feel like crap and I don't know what to do about the leaking. If I go to my primary physician I will be able to get antibiotics no problem, but this doesn't solve my dilemma of getting infections over and over again.

    I'm wondering if the Foley catheter is making it worse. I've been trying to get in touch with a nurse in urology but she has not called back. I would like to go ahead and take it out but I'm afraid leaking will occur again. Not sure what to do.

  10. #10
    Can you put on an external with a condom cath?

    Maybe you are looking at the problem wrong. Would
    you keep leaking continually if you took zero oxybutin?
    What is the issue in wearing an external 100% of the time?
    If you leak constantly, you never have to worry about AD
    and if you wear an external, you count down major on UTI's

    And the truth shall set you free.

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