Postmenopausal women in particular,a re at risk for UTIs because of physiologic and hormonal changes after menopause. These changes can include:
- a thining of the tissue in the vagina
- trouble completely emptying the bladder
- lower levels of the hormone estrogen, which may promote the growth of good bacteria that help keep infections organisms in check
Some but not all UTIs be prevented. Most of the bacteria that cause UTIs and other human infections live inside our bodies. The bacteria that cause UTIs usually come from the gastrointestinal tract and can invade the urinary system under certain conditions.
Staying well hydrated is one way to help prevent UTI’s. Frequent urination can flush bacteria from your urinary tract before they start to proliferate. When you use the toilet, always wipe with toilet tissue from the front of your body toward the back. This prevents bacteria that safely live near the rectum from getting lose to the urethra. Also, be certain to avoid scrubbing, douching, or using overly harsh cleansing products, because you can damage the skin and make an infection more likely.
While urinating after sex isn’t proven to reduce UTI incidence, some experts recommend it, and it won’t do any harm.
If you suspect you have a UTI, call your health care provider. She or he may recommend a urine test to look for bacteria in your urine.
Here’s how to get the best treatment for your UTI:
Give your healthcare provider as much information as possible.
With your health care provider, including what antibiotics you took in the past and whether you’ve had any drug-resistant infections. This allows them to determine whether you need resistance testing.
See a specialist
Women who have had recurrent infections in the past, especially if those were drug-resistant, might want to see a specialist to see if there are other options to help manage their condition.