Chronic UTI's after Chlamydia from five years ago

Posted by strength18 @strength18, Dec 15, 2020

Hi Everyone,
I had contracted chlamydia back in May 2016. The day after I had sex with this partner, I had burning sensation when peeing. Worse pain of my life. I didn’t know that was what happened, so I went to the doctor and denied STI testing. They tested for a UTI which came back positive, so they gave me Cipro. The pain subsided temporarily. It came back weeks later, went to the doctor and same thing. Finally my partner was honest that they weren’t sure if they were clean or not so I got tested. I was told I had chlamydia in August 2016. I had taken the shot medicine for Chlamydia. I took this at Planned Parenthood. It is a foamy drink in a shot. The symptoms never went away. I went back two weeks later and tested positive again for Chlamydia – the doctor said this was normal. I did not have sex with anyone but my partner in that time frame. I took the shot again. My partner said they took a pill from Planned Parenthood.
Ever since this encounter, I have had sever bladder pain and bleeding. I was hospitalized multiple times for this. Every time the doctors don’t believe my pain level is really a ten, but it is. I have been tested for STI every month since because doctors believe that might be the issue – It is not. I have not had a positive test since August 2016. I have had a positive UTI culture/dipstick test about 35 times since September 2016 (after being negative for Chlamydia). That’s an infection a month for two years and the symptoms/pain subsided in 2019/early 2020 for a few months. But it’s back which is why I’m writing this. During this time frame, I’ve had the infections get so bad because doctors didn’t listen that I’ve had 3 kidney infections.

Now let’s break down these past years with this chronic illness:
Bladder pain while peeing and after words, bladder pain sometimes when the bladder is full, occasional blood in my urine, abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting, and flank pain.
These symptoms don’t happen all the time, about 99.9% of my days have the bladder pain while peeing and after words. If the infection gets bad enough and the doctors won’t let me come in for urine sample, the other symptoms start happening. I know when my body has an infection after these years. I cannot go to the urgent care because of my past with UTI’s. I have to make an appointment with a regular doctor, which takes days to see them and makes the infection worse.

Medications i’ve tried:
Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole – I ended up being allergic to this. Prescribed once, the allergic reaction happened after second or third dose.
Nitrofurantoin – I’ve been given this for almost all the infections I’ve had. Also tried taking this twice for a year. I only made it to month three due to severe side effects.
Cephalexin – Been given three or four times, especially during the kidney infections. This worked fast but the infections came back.
Ciprofloxacin – The rest of the half of infections, I was given this. I feel my body is immune to this anti-botic now.

Procedures I’ve done:
I’ve had the camera inserted into my bladder three times. They never found anything alarming. No cysts or stones.
I’ve had an ultrasound twice for my bladder. They found nothing.
Like stated above, was diagnosed to take antibotics for a year but only made it to three months. The side effects were awful: intense stomach pains, diarrhea, and weight gain.
Tried altering my diet. Nothing changed the infections.
I’ve consulted a Urologist twice – They couldn’t tell me what was wrong and just said I have chronic bladder pain and there is nothing to do.

My lifestyle:
I tried to see if sex was the cause. I didn’t have sex for months and still had infections. In 2020, I realized the bad infections came after having sex with a new partner. Now it seems sex might be the issue but I’m unsure for that.
I don’t have an unhealthy diet or anything like that. I drink plenty of water, sometimes drink cranberry juice. I don’t have caffeine, chocolate, spicy foods. I do drink alcohol socially, I do notice my bladder doesn’t like it so I don’t drink too much.
My life is stressful. And during 2019, the happiest year of my life, the infections seemed to subside – only having three in the entire year.

The Bacteria:
The bacteria that is present in all my results is: Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Staphylococcus. Those are the only ones I’ve heard the doctors say over the years. The did the test, got the results, gave antibotics, and then never spoke of it until the next infection. No doctor has ever tried to figure out.

My Life Prior:
I had never had a UTI prior to all of this. I was sexually active as well. I was in a long term committed relationship for five years and then one other partner after that one. It all started after having Chlamydia.

The same man who gave me Chlamydia ended up not actually taking the medication for it. Ended up passing it on to someone I knew and she is going through this exact same issue today. She contracted it in 2017.

If anyone out there knows anything, or has any advice, please help me. This pain and suffering has been hard to endure. This happened when I was 19 and I am 24 years old now. I feel I have lost all hope and lost my entire twenties (as of now) to being ill. I had to drop out of college due to appointments and pain. I have lost jobs due to missing work because of the pain. Wearing tight pants or skinny jeans, make my bladder irritated and I end up having pain. My mental health has suffered due to this as well, I am depressed after going through this. I want my life back. I am trying to remain hopeful but over the years, it gets harder to. I will gladly answer any questions!

(Please note my mental health is under control now, but there was a dark time in my life due to this issue.)

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Kidney & Bladder Support Group.

Hi @strength18, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You've written a very thorough description of your medical history and experience with chlamydia trachomatis and urinary tract infections (UTIs). The persistent, recurrent nature of the UTIs is obviously having a significant negative impact on your life. I'd like to also bring @da_best into this discussion.

Strength, have any of the doctors you've seen mentioned Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)? Here's some information about it:
You mentioned that you abstained from sex to see if that may have contributed to the cause. It usually recommended to avoid sexual intercourse until treatment is completed and symptoms have resolved. Did your abstinence coïncide with the treatment?

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