Urinary infection in women
It is more common to see a urinary tract infection in women than in men. This is because the female urethra is shorter than the male urethra, making it easier for bacteria to travel up the urinary tract. Additionally, a woman’s urethra is also close to the vagina and anus, both of which are sources of bacteria.
Research has found that UTIs affect about one-third of women, and many women will experience multiple urinary tract infections in their lifetime. Recurrent UTIs seem to run in families, indicating that genetics may increase the risk of urinary tract infections in women.
Women are more at risk for UTIs during and after pregnancy. This is because these physical changes can weaken or stretch out the muscles of the pelvic floor, which supports the urinary tract. Hormonal changes due to medication, pregnancy, or menopause can thin and dry the skin in the vagina and urethra, another factor which contributes to urinary tract infections.
Luckily, research has identified ways to decrease your risk of developing a UTI. These include:
- Urinating after sexual activity in order to flush microbes out of the urethra
- Drinking plenty of water
- Not holding in urine
- Exercising to keep your pelvic floor muscles strong
March 25, 2020
Christopher Nystuen, MD, MBA