Q: Are my more frequent bladder infections related to menopause?

About half of women will have at least one urinary tract or bladder infection (UTI) in their lifetimes, and about 40 percent of those women will experience recurrences. Recurrent UTIs can occur for women at any age, but women develop an increased risk for this in menopause. Why is this? The (near) absence of estrogen in menopause has a huge impact to the genitals and the lower urinary tract. This is the area of the body that has the greatest concentration of estrogen receptors, meaning estrogen has a huge impact to the health maintenance of the genitals. 

UTIs can have a huge impact on women's quality of life. Pursue solutions!

So it shouldn’t be surprising that the majority of postmenopausal women will develop the genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM), over time in menopause. The same mechanism (loss of estrogen) that causes vaginal dryness and painful intercourse will also put women at greater risk for UTIs. These more thin and dry tissues are less resilient at warding off bacteria from making their way on the outer skin, up the urethra, and into the bladder, resulting in infection. 

Why is this important? UTIs have a huge impact on women and their day-to-day quality of life because of the discomfort, inconvenience, potential side effects of antibiotics, antibiotic resistance, an undiagnosed UTI leading to the risk of a kidney infection (pyelonephritis), and significant illness, to name a few. Good sexual health habits are a foundation for avoiding UTIs: considering hormone therapy and or the use of vaginal moisturizers to keep the tissues healthy. Kegel exercises will do their part, too, in promoting circulation. 

I not too long ago learned about a product that could be a game-changer for those women who suffer from recurrent UTIs. Utiva UTI Control has concentrated 36mg cranberry PACs (proanthocyanidins), which is the clinically proven dosage that keeps bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall, allowing an infection to occur. Although all cranberry products have PACs, most actually contain very little when measured using a standard method. Utiva measures its 36mg of PACs by DMAC/A2, which is standard for professional brands. Taken daily, Utiva UTI Control can significantly reduce the chance of developing UTIs. Visit Utivahealth.com to learn more about their products.

I learned about this product at the Women’s Health Innovation Summit when it was quite new. I’m hoping for continued commitment of expertise and resources to promote the health of women!