Since being diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome last year, I've had three urinary tract infections. Is there any evidence that Sjogren's syndrome causes recurrent UTIs?
Answer From April Chang-Miller, M.D.
No, but Sjogren's syndrome can cause symptoms that you might mistake for a urinary tract infection (UTI). Sjogren's syndrome is an autoimmune disorder in which the moisture-secreting glands of the eyes and mouth became inflamed, producing fewer tears and less saliva.
Sjogren's syndrome can also cause vaginal dryness — which may result in discomfort during sexual intercourse and an increase in the risk of bacterial and fungal vaginal infections. Painful urination, a common symptom of UTIs, also can occur with vaginal infections.
If you have Sjogren's syndrome, you are also more likely to have a condition called painful bladder syndrome, or interstitial cystitis. This condition causes signs and symptoms similar to those of a urinary tract infection — urinary frequency, urgency and pain — without evidence of infection.
Feb. 19, 2019
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- Baer AN, et al. Clinical manifestations of Sjogren's syndrome: Exocrine gland disease. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Jan. 30, 2019.
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