While I had the occasional UTI during my college years, I was essentially free from UTIs my entire adult life until my late fifties. This followed a total hysterectomy when I was about 45 years old and I speculate that this may have been related to the later onset of persistent recurrent UTI. With frequency of occurrence increasing each year, by the summer I turned 60 I had back to back UTIs over the course of a 3 month period. Always, the culprit was E. Coli. Always. My urologist at the time recommended prophylactic antibiotics and 'I started on daily doses of Nitrofurantoin. I tolerated this with no problem for 2 years. After a second "medication holiday" and recurrence of UTI during that time, I found I could no longer tolerate Nitrofurantoin which now gave me massive disabling headaches and fatigue. Due to a number of other medication allergies my UTI treatment options were/are limited and I lived in dread of the next inevitable occurrence always just short weeks to days away..
An off hand comment by another urologist about the existence of a vaccine in Europe led me on a single minded search to investigate this option. I found encouraging evidence published in reputable medical journals that efficacy had occurred for many, though not all, patients with this treatment. Determined to try it I found my way to the Forbury Clinic in Reading in the UK. I am now post- vaccine treatment for 5 months. As of this writing, I have not had a UTI recurrence to date since starting the treatment in April 2022. For me, this is a nothing short of miraculous.
My experience with medical specialists has been mixed. I have had urologists who were caring but unable to offer me effective treatment once the U.S. standard of care protocols had been exhausted. I have had urologists who have been unavailable and seemingly unwilling to help. But I have also had urologists who have been compassionate and who have partnered with me offering support and good communication.
So far the Uromune vaccine treatment that I obtained in England and started in April 2022 appears to have effectively staved off UTI recurrence for an unheard of (for me) 9 months. I count each day as a blessing and can hardly believe I now have back a quality of life that I had only dreamed of before. I also continue treatment with Estradiol cream 3 times a week.
UTIs had taken over my life. I was desperate - never free of chronic recurrence,. I was unable to travel. It impaired my ability to work. It effected my marriage and personal relationships. I was ALWAYS sick. My anxiety was unrelenting. I believe the impact chronic recurrent UTIs have on quality of life is often underestimated by the U.S. medical community.
While the Uromune vaccine does not result in remission for all chronic UTI sufferers, I believe it is an option that can be effective for some. It should be available in the U.S., as it is in England, Canada and Europe, and other treatment options, including other new vaccine options that are now being tested in Europe, should be available here in the U. S. as well. The U.S. medical community needs to step up and take chronic recurrent UTI seriously and embrace a broader range of resources and treatment options for women.