A urinary tract infection is an infection that can occur anywhere along the urinary tract. Most urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria such as E.coli, which live in the colon (especially the rectum).
Adult women are most commonly affected as their urethra is shorter than men and opens nearer to the anus. This means it is easier for bacteria to enter the urinary system and cause an infection. About 40% of women get at least one attack of cystitis in their lifetime. It is more common in sexually active women, during pregnancy, after surgery and during menopause.
Your vagina, bladder and urethra are under the influence of the hormone estrogen. After menopause the levels of estrogen decline and the tissues become thinner, weaker, and dryer, increasing the risk of recurrent UTIs. Infections are also more common during pregnancy because of changes in the urinary tract. In some cases, there is no apparent cause for the repeated infections.
Treatment for recurrent UTIs may include: