Urinary Tract Infections in Teens and Adults
What Increases Your Risk
Risk factors in women
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are most common in young to middle-aged sexually active Reference women. Things that increase a woman's risk of getting UTIs include:
- Sexual activity, which pushes bacteria into the urethra. Sexual activity with the use of a diaphragm and spermicide raises the risk.
- Previous UTIs.
- Use of feminine hygiene products that contain deodorant.
- Lack of Reference estrogen Opens New Window, which allows bacteria that can cause UTIs to grow more easily in the Reference vagina Opens New Window or Reference urethra Opens New Window. Women who have gone through menopause are at increased risk for UTIs.
Risk factors in men
Things that increase a man's risk of UTIs include:
- Problems with the Reference prostate gland Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window. Men become increasingly prone to UTIs as they get older because of prostate problems, such as enlarged prostate (Reference benign prostatic hyperplasia Opens New Window) and Reference prostatitis Opens New Window.
- An uncircumcised penis.
- Anal intercourse.
- Unprotected sex with a woman who has a vaginal infection.
- HIV infection.
Risk factors in both women and men
Certain risk factors apply to both women and men. These include:
- Not drinking enough fluids. Drinking more fluids causes increased urination, reducing bacteria in the urinary tract and bladder.
- Having a Reference catheter Opens New Window in place. Bacteria can enter the catheter and start an infection. Most at risk are older adults who are in hospitals or who live in long-term care facilities.
- Kidney stones and other obstructions in the urinary tract. These may block the flow of urine, raising the risk of bacterial infection.
- Diabetes. People with diabetes are at greater risk for UTIs because their immune systems are weakened. Also, long-term high blood sugar can damage the kidneys' filtering system (Reference diabetic nephropathy Opens New Window).
- Structural problems of the urinary tract. These may be present at birth or develop later in life.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference May 7, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Avery L. Seifert, MD - Urology