Urinary Tract Infection
A UTI is an infection of the urinary tract that can a ect the bladder (cystitis), urethra (urethritis), vagina (vaginitis) or kidneys (pyelonephritis). One in two women will get a urinary tract infection (UTI) in their lifetime.
The most common type of UTI in women is cystitis (infection of the bladder). UTIs are caused by bacteria entering the
urinary system, usually via the urethra (the tube that passes urine).
A number of factors increase the risk of bacteria entering the urinary system. Infection from the anus is a common cause.
The urethra in women is quite short and close to the anus, making it easier for bacteria to move up the urethra, enter the bladder and cause an infection. Frequent sex also increases the risk of bacteria being moved around the genital area and entering the urethra.
Menopause can also be a contributor, causing oestrogen levels to drop, the vulvar tissue becomes thinner and drier and as a result there is an increased risk of irritation or abrasions that encourage infection. Reduced pelvic floor strength can affect bladder function and in some cases, the bladder does not completely empty, leaving a ‘pool’ of urine which can lead to infection.
Speak to your friendly GP for further advice.
Written by Dr Yamuuna Moorthy