Urinary tract infections and MS are linked because the bladder is a muscle, and much of the internal plumbing leading to and from the bladder (and bowels) are muscles. And there is an intricate "dance" between the muscle groups necessary to expell waste. If the signals from the brain (or spinal cord) aren't getting through properly...or aren't getting through at all ... at least two things can happen:
You get a lot of bladder infections -- true infections, where there is protein or bacteria evident in the urine (through medical testing, not by eye..although sometimes, if it's bad enough, you CAN see the "stuff" floating in your urine! Yikes!)
or what "feels like" a bladder infection -- the pain, the spasms, but no infection.
Many of us went through years of repeat visits to the doctor to treat "bladder infections", only to discover there was no INFECTION, but instead a malfunctioning bladder.
If the bladder holds urine for a long time -- which it can do, if you don't get good signals to go and pee, the waste starts to deteriorate, bacteria develops, and you get an infection. Or if your bladder gets spasms -- like other muscle spasms that we call "spasticity" -- then you're running off to the toilet, and then to the doctor, thinking you have a bladder infection.
If you get a TRUE infection, and leave it untreated, it can lead to kidney infections, and kidney damage. Definitely not a good thing. So it's always important to get your urine checked to see whether indeed you have an INFECTION, and need antibiotics...or if what you really have is a "neurogenic bladder" -- no infection, but pain, spasms, frequency of urination which sometimes produces no urine at all, other times a lot; incontinence.
When I was first diagnosed with MS, I only had an ob/gyn, and I was running to him almost every other month with what I thought were UTI's. It was he who actually diagnosed MS -- or at least "neurogenic bladder", and sent me to a neuro...who diagnosed MS.
Antibiotics will treat the infection, for sure. But sometimes, if you've left it go for awhile, you might need "heavy duty" meds, or take meds for a long time (some folks actually take something forever). If you have a neurogenic bladder then drugs are available for that, too -- you've all seen the ads for these: Detrol, Ditropan...which both come in generic versions, too. So you don't need to suffer with this. There are meds which can help. But first you and your doctor have to figure out "which is it? Infection? or 'neurogenic bladder"
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....