Urinary tract infection (UTI) is often uncomplicated and straightforward to treat. It can, however, sometimes turn into acute cystitis and have more severe health consequences.


UTI is deemed uncomplicated when it occurs acutely or sporadically in a healthy person. Acute cystitis is defined by at least three episodes of urinary tract infection during 12 consecutive months. It can be complicated in pregnant women, men with benign prostatic hyperplasia and urinary voiding problems, or a person who regularly catheterizes.

However, 20 to 30 per cent of women who have had acute cystitis have a recurrence. Among them, 25 per cent will have recurrent urinary tract infections, that’s to say more than three episodes per year. In most cases, this is a new urinary tract infection called reinfection. It may recur quickly, two to four weeks after the initial treatment. In this case, it may be a persistent infection due to bacterial resistance, inadequate treatment or an anatomical or functional abnormality of the urinary tract.

Asymptomatic bacteriuria refers to bacteria in the urine in the absence of symptoms or clinical signs.