If you've never had a urinary tract infection (UTI), take note: while the illnesses are uncommon in older males, they are frequent in older women, occurring in 10% of women aged 65 to 85. Up to a third of women who get a UTI will experience a recurrence within six months.
"E. coli bacteria which live in the intestines are responsible for roughly 80% of all recurrent UTIs and continue to generate antibiotic-resistant germ strains. The bacteria' ability to adhere to the urinary tract can make them extremely difficult to eliminate.
The causes of urinary tract infections
UTIs can develop in any part of the urinary system, including the kidneys, bladder, ureters (the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder), or urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body).
Preventing urinary tract infections
Some women are more prone to recurring or frequent UTIs than others. Here are some methods to help you avoid them:
To flush out the urinary system, drink plenty of water every day.
After sexual intercourse, quickly empty your bladder.
Consider using vaginal estrogen cream if you're a postmenopausal woman to help prevent "bad" germs from forming around the urethral entrance.
Wipe from front to back after going to the bathroom if you're a woman of any age; wiping from back to front brings "bad" bacteria toward the urethral hole.
Consider taking a low-dose antibiotic on a regular basis for a long time (although this has a risk of encouraging antibiotic resistance).
Take a single dosage of antibiotics after sex if your UTIs are frequently caused by sexual intercourse.