Approximately 40 percent of women and 12 percent of men will experience at least one symptomatic urinary tract infection (UTI) during their lifetime. Evaluation and treatment of UTIs may be slightly different for men and women; however our goal is committed to helping you understand, prevent, and reduce the frequency of UTIs.
Urinary Tract Infection Information
What happens under normal conditions?
What are the symptoms of a urinary tract infection?
UTIs are often categorized as simple (uncomplicated) or complicated. Simple UTIs are infections that occur in normal urinary tracts. Complicated UTIs occur in abnormal urinary tracts or when the bacteria causing the infection is resistant to many antibiotic medications.
What causes urinary tract infections?
Just as some people are more prone to colds, some people are more prone to UTIs. Women who have gone through menopause have a change in the lining of the vagina and lose the protective effects of estrogen that decrease the likelihood of UTIs. Postmenopausal women with UTIs may benefit from hormone replacement. Some women are genetically predisposed to UTIs and have urinary tracts that allow bacteria to adhere to it more readily. Sexual intercourse also increases the frequency of UTIs.
Women who use diaphragms have also been found to have an increased risk when compared to those using other forms of birth control. Using condoms with spermicidal foam is also known to be associated with an increase in UTIs in women. Women are more prone to UTIs because they have shorter urethras than men so bacteria have a shorter distance to travel to reach the bladder.
You are more likely to get a UTI if your urinary tract has an abnormality or has recently been instrumented (for example, had a catheter in place). If you are unable to urinate normally because of some type of obstruction, you will also have a higher chance of a UTI. Disorders such as diabetes also put people at higher risk for UTIs because of the body’s decrease in immune function and thus a reduced ability to fight off infections such as UTIs.