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UTIs in Menopause – All You Need to Know

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UTIs are fairly common and affect about half of women at least once in their lives. They occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract and multiply. This can happen when the urinary tract is not completely emptied, which allows bacteria to grow. The incidence of UTIs in menopausal women is significant and it demands some serious attention. In this article, we will discuss what UTI is and how it should be coped with in menopause.

Urinary tract infection (UTI)

UTI, or Urinary Tract Infection, is a bacterial infection that affects the urinary system. UTIs are most common in women, but can also occur in men and children. The symptoms of UTI include a strong urge to urinate, pain or burning during urination, and cloudy or bloody urine. UTIs can be treated with antibiotics.

However, UTIs are more common in menopause and can be more difficult to treat due to changes in the body during menopause. UTI in menopause can cause severe symptoms and may require hospitalization. Therefore, it is important to see a doctor if you think you have a UTI. (2)

UTIs in menopause

UTIs are more common in women during menopause for several reasons.

  1. First, the drop in estrogen levels during menopause can thin the lining of the urethra, making it more susceptible to infection.
  2.  Second, menopause can cause changes in bathroom habits, such as increased frequency or urgency, which can lead to UTIs.
  3. Finally, changes in vaginal flora during menopause can also contribute to UTI risk.

Causes of UTIs in menopause

UTIs are most common in women of childbearing age, but they can occur at any age. UTIs are more common in menopause because of changes in the urinary tract. The lining of the urethra and bladder changes, making it easier for bacteria to travel up the urethra and enter the bladder. The decreased production of estrogen during menopause also decreases the acidity of urine, making it more hospitable for bacteria. In addition, changes in sexual activity and kidney function can also contribute to UTIs in menopause

Symptoms of UTIs in menopause

UTIs can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Burning or pain when urinating
  • Frequent urination
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
  • Pelvic pain or pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Fever.

Treatment for UTIs in menopause

There are different treatment options available to treat UTIs in menopause. These include natural options, medicinal options, and alternative therapies.

Natural Treatment options at home

Though they can be treated with antibiotics, many people prefer to seek out natural treatment options. (4) Here are a few of the most popular methods:

  • Cranberry juice has long been touted as a UTI cure-all. The theory is that the acids in cranberries can help to prevent bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract walls. Though there is some evidence to support this claim, cranberry juice is not a guaranteed fix.
  • Another popular home remedy is consuming garlic. Garlic contains allicin, an antimicrobial compound that can fight off infection-causing bacteria. Studies have shown that garlic is effective in treating both E. coli and Staphylococcus bacteria, both of which can cause UTIs.
  • Finally, many people find relief by drinking plenty of fluids. This helps to flush out the bladder and urinary tract, washing away any harmful bacteria. Water is the best option, but green tea and unsweetened cranberry juice can also be beneficial.

Medicinal Treatment Options

Many medications are available for the treatment of urinary tract infections (UTIs). The most common approach is to use an antibiotic, which can be taken orally or intravenously. However, some women may experience recurrent UTIs, particularly during menopause. In these cases, prophylactic antibiotics may be recommended.

Several medications can help to relieve the symptoms of a UTI, such as pain relievers and antispasmodics. In addition, it is important to drink plenty of fluids to flush out the infection. Some women may also benefit from using a urinary tract acidifier or placing a heating pad on the abdomen. With proper treatment, most UTIs will clear up within a few days. However, if symptoms persist or the infection spreads to the kidneys, it is important to see a doctor for further evaluation.

UTIs prevention in menopause

Fortunately, there are several things that women can do to reduce their UTI risk during menopause. (1)

  1. Drinking plenty of fluids and urinating frequently can help to flush out bacteria.
  2. Wiping from front to back after going to the bathroom can also help to prevent bacteria from spreading from the anus to the urethra.
  3. Avoiding irritating feminine hygiene products and using vaginal lubricants can help to minimize UTI risk.

By taking these steps, women can help to decrease their UTI risk during menopause.

Recurrent UTI in menopause

UTIs can be treated with antibiotics, but they often recur. This recurrence is most common in women of post-menopausal age. To reduce the risk of UTI recurrence, postmenopausal women should drink plenty of fluids, empty their bladder regularly, and practice good hygiene. In addition, they should avoid douching and using feminine hygiene products that contain perfumes or dyes. If UTI symptoms persist despite these measures, it is important to see a doctor for further treatment. (3)

Conclusion

UTIs are common in menopausal women and can be debilitating. If you experience any of the symptoms associated with a UTI, it is important to seek medical attention right away. There are several ways to prevent UTIs, including drinking plenty of fluids, urinating after sex, and avoiding certain foods. Treatment for a UTI usually involves antibiotics, but there are also natural remedies that may help speed up the healing process.

References

  1. Caretto M, Giannini A, Russo E, Simoncini T. Preventing urinary tract infections after menopause without antibiotics. Maturitas [Internet]. 2017 May [cited 2022 May 23];99:43–6. Available from: pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2836
  2. ‌Raz R. Urinary Tract Infection in Postmenopausal Women. Korean Journal of Urology [Internet]. 2011 [cited 2022 May 23];52(12):801. Available from: pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/222
  3. ‌Raz R, Gennesin Y, Wasser J, Stoler Z, Rosenfeld S, Rottensterich E, et al. Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections in Postmenopausal Women. Clinical Infectious Diseases [Internet]. 2000 Jan 1 [cited 2022 May 23];30(1):152–6. Available from: pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/106
  4. ‌KA H. Natural approaches to prevention and treatment of infections of the lower urinary tract. Alternative medicine review : a journal of clinical therapeutic [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2022 May 23];13(3). Available from: pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/189
The information in this site will not replace a medical examination or relevant medical advice. We do our best to make the most reliable and orderly information available. Still, as reliable as it may be, this information can not be a substitute for any other medical recommendation received by a qualified physician after an individual examination.
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Erica M.
Erica M.
8 months ago

Menopause UTIs are something else… As a long time sufferer of UTIs, from teenage years to my mid 40s I thought it wouldn’t surprise me anymore. Well, the pain I feel when I’m urinating is excruciating. Indeed, drinking more fluids helps a lot to keep them at bay but if you’re prone to experiencing them taking antibiotics might be the only way out.

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