Why Are Postmenopausal UTIs Common?: How to Prevent Them?

UTIs are one of the most common infections among women, and for this very reason, most women will experience a UTI at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, most women will experience multiple UTIs throughout their lifetime. When women reach menopause, the chance of UTIs increases even further. 

Menopause is something that will happen to all women, and so it can be very daunting that the number of UTIs you will experience is something that will increase post menopause. 

Thankfully, there are ways to reduce the chances of experiencing a UTI postmenopausal. In order to understand these methods, you need to understand why UTIs are more common post-menopause. To do this, you need to understand the female anatomy and what causes UTIs. 

Table of Contents

The Female Anatomy: Understanding UTIs

UTIs are caused when bacteria that can cause infections enters the urinary tract. This infection-causing bacteria is able to enter the urinary tract via the urethra, which is the part of the body that carries urine away from your bladder and out of your body. Once the bacteria enters the urethra it is able to multiply and spread up through your urinary tract, into the bladder and other surrounding parts of the urinary system.

Due to the anatomy of women compared to men, UTIs are a lot more common in women. In men, urine passes through the urethra and out of the tip of the penis. This makes it difficult for bacteria to enter the urethra and cause a UTI. 

In contrast, the short and straight design of the female urethra between the vaginal and rectal openings makes it really easy for bacteria to enter the urinary tract. This is because high amounts of bacteria are naturally found in this area. This explains why UTIs are more common in women than men, but why are they more common post-menopause? That is a good question. 

Why Are UTIs More Common Post-Menopause?

UTIs become more common post-menopause because the cause of the majority of UTIs change. In younger women, the majority of UTIs will be linked to sexual intercourse. During sexual intercourse, bacteria is often passed from the vagina or rectum to the urethra and this can exacerbate UTIs. However, in older women, the cause of UTIs is often slightly different. 

While UTIs could still be caused by sexual intercourse in postmenopausal women, the chances of UTIs increases in post-menopausal women due to the hormonal changes caused by the menopause. Women who are postmenopausal produce less estrogen and this can cause UTIs as estrogen is a “good” bacteria in the vagina that helps control infection-causing bacteria. So as the amount of estrogen in the body decreases, the likelihood of UTIs increases. 

There are some other bodily changes associated with the menopause that can help increase the chances of UTIs. These include the thinning of the vaginal tissue, weakening of the pelvic floor, difficulty fully emptying the bladder and incontinence. All of these things can increase the risk of bacteria entering the urethra and causing a UTI. 

How to Treat and Prevent UTIs Postmenopausal?

So, unfortunately, due to the large body changes associated with the menopause, it is incredibly common for post-menopausal women to experience UTIs at a much more frequent rate than premenopausal women. However, thankfully, UTIs are fairly easy to treat, and there are plenty of things that you can do to prevent UTIs too. 

When it comes to treating UTIs, a simple visit to the doctors can help ease your symptoms. Most UTIs will be easily treated with antibiotics that your doctor will be able to prescribe, and that you will likely start taking the same day. There are also plenty of things that you can do to relieve the symptoms of a UTI, including wearing loose clothing and using heat pads. 

In terms of preventing UTIs, the things that you can do to prevent these infections developing are the same post-menopause as pre-menopause. These things are often very simple, but they can help a great deal when it comes to preventing these infections from developing. 

Some of the best ways to prevent UTIs postmenopausal are to ensure that you always wipe from front to back after urinating, and also that you urinate following sexual activities as both of these actions will help reduce the risk of bacteria entering the urethra. Likewise, opting for a shower over a bath can also help reduce the risk of UTIs. 

How Can DrHouse Help You?

At DrHouse, we understand how important it is to ensure that you’re taking all the necessary steps to prevent and treat UTIs. That is why we provide a range of services that can help you both manage and treat your urinary tract health better and more effectively.

Our team of dedicated professionals can provide you with a range of services, from online consultations and advice to creating personalized treatment plans and prescribing medication online.

DrHouse offers a telehealth service where you can start on-demand online doctor visits whenever you need them. Our clinicians are available around the clock and you can see a licensed clinician within minutes – whenever and wherever you are.

So, if you’re looking for ways to help manage and prevent UTIs, we can help. With a range of convenient telehealth services, you can ensure that you’re in the best of health and free from any pesky UTIs.

Summary

UTIs are more common post-menopause as the amount of estrogen that a woman’s body produces post-menopause is reduced. Estrogen helps with managing infection-causing bacteria, so when the levels of estrogen are reduced, the chances of UTIs are increased. 

The chance of a postmenopausal woman experiencing a UTI is increased further by weakening of the vaginal tissue and the pelvic floor post-menopause. 

Sources:

DrHouse articles are written by MDs, NPs, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. The contents of the DrHouse site are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.

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