Urinary tract infections and HSP

Option to antibiotic treatment

Community member Karen writes:

I remember reading an article on urinary tract infections (UTIs) when it was new on the Foundation website in 2016.  The image of a pond that doesn’t drain – well that stuck with me!  As women age, we become more susceptible to urinary tract infections (UTIs) and having HSP makes it worse.  Men with HSP can get UTIs too.  I was getting a worrying number of urinary tract infections and wasn’t surprised.  Then it got so bad, I’d had 5 UTIs in 7 months!  I was tired of the pain and huge inconvenience, of running to different doctors’ offices for testing and prescriptions, of paying for doctors’ visits and prescriptions and I worried about taking antibiotics too often.  I had to do something.

I Googled about UTIs and found a remedy, a powder to mix and drink with water every third day, so I gave that a try.  At my yearly gynecological check-up, I told my doctor what I was taking.  She read the ingredient list and told me the important thing in there was “D-Mannose” and I should just be taking that – so now I am.  Mannose is a type of sugar that prevents certain kinds of bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract and causing infection.  The term “D-Mannose” is used for the packaged nutritional supplement to prevent recurrent urinary tract infections.  I’ll admit that what I read about it online is more complex than I currently understand but this is from US National Institutes of Health (NIH):

D-mannose appears protective for recurrent UTI (versus placebo) with possibly similar effectiveness as antibiotics. Overall, D-mannose appears well tolerated with minimal side effects – only a small percentage experiencing diarrhea.

The gynecologist also explained how with age and being post-menopausal, women’s vaginal lining naturally thins. She recommended topical estradiol cream, an estrogen hormone.  I started using that too, as instructed, inserting 1g in the vagina every week.  And now I’ve been UTI free for the last 11 months! 

Men with HSP can get UTIs too.  And while estradiol cream isn’t an option, I wonder if taking D-Mannose might help? (The research study was women only).  It’s easy, inexpensive and can prevent annoying, painful, messy UTIs.  It made a huge difference to my quality of life!

Read more.

Editor’s note: There are many treatments available for UTIs, from supplements in the supermarket or pharmacy through to prescription items. The Foundation does not recommend nor endorse any particular treatment for UTIs. Check with your doctor about what’s right for you.


1. HSP community member Karen

2. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2020 Aug; 223(2): 265.e1–265.e13. Published online 2020 Jun 1. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2020.05.048

D-mannose vs other agents for recurrent urinary tract infection prevention in adult women: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Stacy M. LENGER, MD,1 Megan S. BRADLEY, MD,2 Debbie A. THOMAS, MLS,3 Marnie H. BERTOLET, PhD,4 Jerry L. LOWDER, MD, MSc,1,* and Siobhan SUTCLIFFE, PhD, SCM, MHS5,*

3. Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mannose

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