Risk Factors for Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
]]>Main Page]]> | Risk Factors | ]]>Symptoms]]> | ]]>Diagnosis]]> | ]]>Treatment]]> | ]]>Screening]]> | ]]>Reducing Your Risk]]> | ]]>Talking to Your Doctor]]> | ]]>Living With UTI]]> | ]]>Resource Guide]]>
A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.
It is possible to develop a UTI with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing a UTI. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.
Frequent sexual intercourse increases your risk of UTIs. Having unprotected sex raises the risk still further.
The following medical conditions increase your chances of getting UTIs:
- Urinary tract anatomical defects
- Vesicoureteral reflux (urine washes back up the ureter into the kidneys)
- Weakened immune system
- ]]>Kidney stones]]>
- Enlarged prostate gland
- Women who use diaphragms for birth control, or whose partners use condoms with spermicidal foam
- ]]>Paraplegia]]> or quadriplegia (body paralysis)
- History of kidney transplant
- ]]>Sickle cell anemia]]>
- Nervous system disorders that make it difficult for you to completely empty your bladder
Medical Devices and Procedures
Having a urinary catheter inserted increases your chances of getting a UTI, as do medical procedures performed on the urinary tract system.
Taking antibiotics for other conditions can increase your risk of getting a UTI.
The rate of urinary tract infections increases with age in both men and women.
Women have a very high rate of urinary tract infections throughout their lives because the openings to the urethra and rectum are in close proximity, and the urethra is shorter in women than men. The risk of UTIs increases even further after menopause in women and after age 50 in men.
Researchers are still trying to understand whether certain genetic factors might make someone more prone to urinary tract infections. It does appear that women whose mothers have had multiple urinary tract infections are themselves more likely to have UTIs. There may also be some factors related to blood type that increase a person’s risk for urinary tract infections.
American Foundation for Urologic Disease website. Available at: http://www.auafoundation.org/auafhome.asp .
Griffith’s 5-Minute Clinical Consult. 2001 ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2001.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://www2.niddk.nih.gov/ .
Last reviewed August 2008 by ]]>Jill D. Landis, MD]]>
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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