Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are troublesome and painful, and sadly enough very common – actually it’s the world’s most common type of bacterial infection. More women than men are affected and the difference is evident already after the first year of life. Why? Partly because of our different anatomy.
UTI in the figures
About half of all women will experience UTI during their life-time
About 1/3 of all women at the age of 24 have had UTI
The risk of UTI's are 3-4 times greater in women
Reasons for UTI
As Men have a longer urethra, a bacteria washout occurs every time they empty their bladder. The position of a woman’s urethra, close to the rectum and vagina, is unfortunately located in the ideal position for bacteria exchange.
UTIs are fairly common for sexually active women, although peeing before and after sex can help prevent infection. Women with diabetes are more likely to get a UTI because of the condition's impact on the immune system.
Other reasons are use of birth control and antibiotics, which may disrupt the normal vaginal flora. Also genetic factors and estrogen levels are shown to be of importance.
Usage of urethral catheters increases the risk of UTIs, and that’s why it is important to choose the right catheter. Hydrophilic coated catheters are for example proven to reduce the risk of UTI and are often preferred by users.