Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are not uncommon. Many people, adults in particular, have felt the burning sensation, the urge to urinate frequently, and other unpleasant symptoms of a UTI at one time or another. The fact is, though, that women are much more likely to suffer from UTIs than men are.
UTIs can impact any part of the urinary tract, such as the urethra, bladder, or kidneys, when unfriendly bacteria such as e-coli or s saprophyticus enter it. Some differences in anatomy make women more susceptible than men, however. These differences include:
Both women and men have urethras, the tube that carries urine out of the body. But adult males’ urethras are more than twice as long than those of females, which means bacteria must travel a longer path to infect the system. And since in the entry to the urinary tract in women is closer to the anus than it is in men, gastrointestinal bacteria causing UTIs are more likely to enter.
A number of anatomical differences between men and women explain why women have UTIs more than men. In general, the mucous environment found in the vagina creates a fertile ground for bacteria to thrive. Hormonal changes, such as the natural reduction of estrogen during menopause, can make the female urinary tract more vulnerable to UTIs. Also, hygiene factors related to the menstruation process increase women’s chances of having a UTI. Likewise, pregnancy can be a factor, as the growing fetus puts pressure on the bladder, making it more vulnerable to infection.
Various types of contraceptives contribute to the development of UTIs in women. For example, spermicidal agents (spermicides) which are designed to destroy sperm cells may also kill beneficial bacteria that protect against external infections. Hygiene factors related to condoms, diaphragms, and intrauterine contraceptive devices are also suspected of increasing the likelihood of UTIs, which makes them common among sexually active women.
Although UTIs are usually not life-threatening, they can be serious and lead to more severe problems, especially if an infection develops in the kidneys. Treatment, such as Antibiotic Therapy, is needed to restore a properly-functioning urinary system back to full health. The urologists and staff at NewCity Medical Plaza can diagnose and treat your UTI whether you’re male or female. They are ready to meet with you.