Why Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections are Most Common in Women and Seniors

Urinary tract infections can develop in anyone at any time. However, recurrent infections may become a problem for women and the elderly.

At Primary Care & Walk-In Medical Clinic, the skilled team of physicians offers comprehensive care for people of all ages suffering from discomfort and pain of a urinary tract infection. The medical staff also specializes in treating recurrent infections of the urinary tract to protect your general health.

Signs you may have a urinary tract infection

A urinary tract infection is a common condition that can cause discomfort or pain. This type of infection develops when bacteria enter any part of your urinary tract, such as your bladder, kidneys, ureters, and urethra.

Infections are most common in the lower tract and often result from sexual activity, poor personal hygiene, or blockages in the urinary tract.

You can have a urinary tract infection without any symptoms. As the condition worsens, you may experience noticeable side effects, including:

Women especially may notice they have pain in the pelvic area as the infection worsens.

Because the symptoms of a urinary tract infection can be similar to other underlying health conditions, it’s important that you schedule a diagnostic evaluation at Primary Care & Walk-In Medical Clinic as soon as possible. They offer in-office urine testing to confirm the infection quickly.

Why more women get urinary tract infections

Urinary tract infections are most common in women because of the natural design of their urinary tract. Females have shorter urethra and bacteria need to travel much less of a distance to reach the urinary tract.

Women are also more likely to develop urinary tract infections if they use diaphragms and spermicides for birth control. As women head toward the transition to menopause, underlying hormone changes can lead to changes in the urinary tract making them more susceptible to infections in their urinary tract.

How urinary tract infections affect the elderly

Elderly patients who need catheters to urinate are at increased risk for urinary tract infections, especially if they recently had surgery for urinary dysfunction.

Older people who have a depressed immune system, like diabetes, may also not be able to naturally protect themselves against the bacteria. This can lead to current urinary tract infections.

Elderly men who have an enlarged prostate can suffer complications that increase their risk for urinary tract infections. The abnormal prostate can trap urine inside the bladder, which leads to recurrent urinary tract infections.

How everyone can prevent a urinary tract infection

To reduce the concentration of your urine and help your body eliminate excess fluids more efficiently, it’s important that you stay hydrated. Drinking water regularly throughout the day can also help flush out bacteria before it settles into an infection.

Other ways to reduce your risk factors for a urinary tract infection include:

Practicing good hygiene

After using the bathroom, you should always wipe from the front to the back to reduce the spread of bacteria from your anus to your urinary tract.

Stop using irritants

If you use douches or other feminine products, it can irritate the urethra and increase the risk of bacteria entering and settling in your urinary tract. Avoid using deodorant sprays, scented pads, and other irritants and rely on soap and gentle cleansers for your genital area.

Empty your bladder after sex

Following sex, be sure to use the bathroom and empty your bladder as soon as possible. You should also drink extra water to flush any bacteria out of the urinary tract.

If you suspect you have a urinary tract infection and need relief from your symptoms, schedule a diagnostic evaluation at Primary Care & Walk-In Medical Clinic online, by phone, or visit the clinic in person.

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