Urinary tract infections are common in women, costing an estimated $2.5 billion per year to treat in 2000 in the United States alone. These infections frequently recur, affecting 2 to 3% of all women.
A depletion of vaginal lactobacilli, a type of bacteria, is associated with urinary tract infection risk, which suggests that replenishing these bacteria may be beneficial. Researchers conducted a double-blind placebo-controlled trial to investigate this theory. Their results are published in Clinical Infectious Diseases .
According to study author Ann Stapleton, MD, of the University of Washington in Seattle, "Larger efficacy trials of this novel preventive method for recurrent urinary tract infections are warranted to determine if use of vaginal Lactobacillus could replace long-term antimicrobial preventive treatments." (EurekAlert/ April 2011)