Urinary tract infections (UTI) are fairly common in the United States. They are mostly diagnosed in older adults, although it is possible for children to contract an infection.
UTI’s occur in women significantly more than men - in fact, 40% of women will get a UTI in their lifetimes while only about 12% of men will get the same condition. The Affiliated Urologists team explains that the primary reason for this is because of female anatomy.
A woman’s urethra is shorter than her male counterpart’s. This means that bacteria do not have to travel as far from the urethral opening outside of the body to get to the bladder or other parts of the urinary tract. Our urology experts explain that a woman’s urethra opening is located close to the anus, so it is easier for her to bring bacteria from the anus into the urethra. This is often done when wiping after urinating or passing a bowel movement, but it’s also easy to do during sexual activity. While it is possible for a man to inadvertently transfer the bacteria as well, it is less likely since a male’s urethra is further away.
Women also are more prone to catching a UTI if they use a contraceptive diaphragm. Diaphragms contain spermicide, which could eliminate good bacteria living in the vagina that help fight infections. Additionally, a diaphragm could make it more difficult for the bladder to empty completely, and our experts say that urine that lingers in the bladder could cause an infection.
Some studies have found that women going through menopause or post-menopause are also more likely to develop a urinary tract infection. This may be attributable to lower levels of estrogen. For this reason, a physician may prescribe estrogen cream in order to prevent chronic urinary tract infections.
The Affiliated Urology team is more than happy to work with both men and women to help prevent frequent urinary tract infections. We strongly encourage patients to see a physician for a UTI because if left untreated, it could spread to one or both kidneys and cause a more serious condition that is more difficult to treat. If you experience frequent, urgent urges to urinate along with pain and red-colored urine, we urge you to see a physician as soon as possible.
Affiliated Urologists is an award-winning practice recognized both locally and nationally that has provided service to patients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and surrounding communities in the Valley, for over 40 years. The physicians emphasize top-of-the-line comprehensive urological care and strive to deliver the highest outcomes for patient satisfaction. To make an appointment, call 602-264-0608 or visit http://affiliatedurologists.com/contact/ for instructions on scheduling an appointment.
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.