Blame your anatomy: Women are more prone to UTI than men

After you’ve had one, your risk for having recurrent UTIs increases with each UTI you have. And 27 percent of women have more than two UTIs every year.

Ladies: Most of us have had a urinary tract infection (UTI) at least once. If you haven’t, there’s a pretty good chance you will. The National Kidney Foundation states one in five women will have at least one UTI in her lifetime. After you’ve had one, your risk for having recurrent UTIs increases with each UTI you have. And 27 percent of women have more than two UTIs every year.

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Why are women more at risk?

Anatomy is the most likely culprit. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, women are more likely to develop UTIs because they have a shorter urethra than men. Bacteria don’t have to travel very far to reach and infect a woman’s bladder. Plus, the opening to the urethra is closer to the rectum, where the bacteria that can cause these infections live.

How can you prevent UTIs?

  • Go to the bathroom as soon as you have the urge.
  • Make sure to wipe from front to back.
  • Make a trip to the bathroom before and after sex.
  • Enjoy baths? That’s OK every once in awhile, but take showers more often than you soak.
  • Wear breathable underwear, preferably with a cotton crotch.
  • Tight pants aren’t in style for your pelvic health. Avoid wearing tight-fitting pants, they can trap moisture.

After one or two UTIs, women start to become more aware of the symptoms:

  • A burning feeling when you urinate.
  • A frequent or strong urge to urinate, even though little comes out when you do.
  • A sudden change in your usual routine or pattern of going to the bathroom.
  • Pain or pressure in your back or lower abdomen.
  • Cloudy, dark, bloody or strange-smelling urine.
  • Any sensation that doesn’t seem normal when you go.

Looking for relief?

If you suspect you have a UTI, try Norton eCare to talk to a provider about your symptoms. With an eVisit you fill out a questionnaire explaining your symptoms and receive a phone call from a provider without having to leave your home or work. The provider can make a recommendation about how to treat your symptoms and may prescribe medications.


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