Why You Have UTI Symptoms After Taking Antibiotics

Jeannette | Posted on January 11, 2023 
uti comes back right after antibiotics


UTIs develop when bacteria invade the organs that produce and eliminate urine. Antibiotics are typically used to treat these infections.

Antibiotics may not always treat UTIs because the symptoms can persist even after taking the medication. However, these antibiotics do not always function, and several potential causes exist. Sometimes, medications do not alleviate your UTI symptoms. In other circumstances, they may be deteriorating rapidly. Some people also complain that the UTI comes back right after antibiotics.

In this scenario, your doctor may recommend switching antibiotics or ensuring that you take the medication correctly. Additionally, they will examine for other diseases to ensure that your symptoms are not caused by something other than an infection of the urinary tract.

This article examines why antibiotics are ineffective and a UTI comes back. Moreover, the article also explores when a patient with symptoms of a persistent UTI should speak with their doctor about obtaining additional tests in case UTI comes back after antibiotics.

UTI Comes Back Right After Antibiotics

In the US, urinary tract infections are one of the most prevalent infections that may be treated outside of a hospital. UTIs are often treated with antibiotics initially.

Typically, antibiotics are administered without first doing a urine culture. It is because practically all UTIs are caused by E. coli, which a urine culture will almost always confirm.

Unfortunately, not all UTI medications are as effective as experts anticipate. There are three primary reasons:

  1. UTI is caused by an antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria
  2. UTI could be caused by a different type of bacterium, fungus, or virus
  3. Another sickness could cause UTI symptoms

Reasons Why Your UTI Came Back After Antibiotics

Antibiotics treat bacterial infections. Bacteria cause UTIs; thus, your physician may prescribe an antibiotic to treat and eliminate the infection.

In some instances, the medication is ineffective. If you take the prescribed medication and continue to experience UTI symptoms, you should consult a physician.

In one study, the medical records of 670,450 women with UTI were examined. An ineffective antibiotic was administered to approximately half of the ladies. In addition, some of the women continued to take the medication after the allotted time limit.

Even if you obtain the correct medication, you may administer it incorrectly. If you do not take the medication as prescribed, likely, your symptoms will not improve. You can develop a recurrent UTI or a more severe infection.

UTI Specialist

UTI comes back right after antibiotics because of the following reasons:

  • Antibiotic Resistance

UTI comes back right after antibiotics because of antibiotic resistance that bacteria develop.

Antibiotic resistance indicates that the bacteria causing a UTI do not respond to antibiotic treatment. This occurs because repeated use of antibiotics causes bacteria to evolve.

Patients with existing health issues or a high incidence of UTIs are more likely to develop antibiotic resistance.

  • Wrong Medications

Suppose only a urinalysis is performed without a urine culture. In that case, the antibiotic prescribed for your infection may need to be corrected as the bacteria causing the infection needs to be identified, leading to the wrong prescription.

This could occur if the cause of your UTI is an uncommon strain of bacteria, fungus, or virus. This practice could be one of the causes of antibiotic resistance, causing the UTI to come back.

  • Underlying Conditions or Diseases

Occasionally, antibiotics are ineffective in treating UTIs because the infection is not a UTI. Instead, a cause other than a UTI may be responsible for the symptoms, and you think that UTI comes back right after antibiotics.

UTI comes back right after antibiotics if you have any of the following issues:

  • Kidney stones and infection
  • Acute or internal cystitis
  • Overactive bladder or bladder cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • STDs like vaginitis, chlamydia or gonorrhea

Bacteria that have traveled from a UTI to the bladder or kidneys can cause cystitis and kidney infections.

As with UTIs, antibiotics are typically used to treat these infections. On the other hand, several factors that may reduce the effectiveness of antibiotic treatment for UTIs also apply to these disorders.

In addition, common STIs, i.e., sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea, share symptoms with UTIs.

Typically, prescribed antibiotics for UTIs are unlikely to be effective against these sexually transmitted diseases.

If you have symptoms of a UTI and antibiotics have not been effective, your doctor will conduct additional tests.

Important Considerations for Antibiotics Usage

Here are some essential considerations when using antibiotics to treat a UTI:

  • Even if you begin to feel better, you should continue taking the prescribed medications
  • To eliminate the infection, you must take all of the prescribed medication
  • You should only take the medication prescribed by your doctor
  • You mustn’t give your antibiotics to other people

What to do if UTI comes back right after antibiotics?

UTIs that do not respond to antibiotics will likely require a urine culture to determine which bacteria are causing the infection.

If it turns out that a different sort of bacteria, fungus, or virus caused your UTI, your physician will recommend an alternative treatment.

Moreover, changes to your lifestyle, such as quitting smoking or consuming less alcohol, might reduce the frequency and severity of UTIs.

Here are some tips for you in case your UTI comes back right after antibiotics:

  • Improve your hygiene routine (do not hold urine)
  • Drink adequate water to flush out bacteria
  • Take cranberry juice to prevent bacteria from clinging to the tract
  • Eat vegetables and fruits for enhanced immunity necessary for fighting bacteria
  • Consume probiotics for the restoration of good bacteria
See Also: Do UTI’s Increase Post Menopause?


Antibiotics are prescribed to treat and eliminate UTIs. If the initial antibiotic you take is ineffective, you may need more antibiotics. It is crucial that you take the medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you do not, your symptoms may worsen, or the illness may return. Even worse, UTI comes back right after antibiotics.

Sometimes other health conditions can mimic a UTI. So, it is crucial to consult your primary care physician about your symptoms so they can diagnose your condition. You can contact our UTI specialists at Family Medicine Austin for comprehensive quality care, including the diagnosis and management of UTI. We provide prompt diagnosis and treatment for successful recovery so that you can resume your normal life. Schedule an appointment to be tested for a urinary tract infection.

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