Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
- Although urinary tract infections are not sexually transmitted infections, many women will experience urinary tract infections during their lives. A UTI is defined as a lower-urinary tract infection in an otherwise healthy patient with no functional or structural abnormality of the genitourinary tract. UTIs are predominantly infections in women only.
- Urinary tract infections are the most common bacterial infections.
- The prevalence in females increases by approximately 1% per decade of life.
- Approximately 1 in 3 women will have one or more UTIs by age 24.
- 40%-50% of women will have one or more UTIs in their lives.
Risk factors that do increase your chance of UTIs include:
- Family or personal history of UTI
- Estrogen deficiency
- Any and frequent sexual intercourse
- New sexual partner
- Use of unlubricated condoms
- Use of spermicide
- Use of diaphragm
- Recent antibiotic use
Behaviors not associated with UTIs include:
- Pre- and postcoital voiding patterns (urinating before and after sexual intercourse)
- Urination frequency
- Wiping patterns
- Clothing selection
- Tampon use and frequency of changing
The following will be helpful if you do experience UTIs:
- Always finish the full antibiotic course, even if your symptoms are gone.
- Call if symptoms do not improve within 48 hours of treatment or if you experience high fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, or low back pain.
- Call for culture results in two to three days.
- Rest and good diet are important in maintaining resistance to infection.
- Increase fluids such as water and cranberry juice and decrease fluids containing alcohol and caffeine.
- Drinking 10 ounces of a 27% concentration of cranberry juice per day helps protect the urinary tract from infection.