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441 US 130,

East Windsor, NJ 08520

(609) 336-7518

09AM to 05PM EST

How to Prevent UTI in Elderly Women?

A urinary tract infection, or UTI, influences the urine system, including the ureters, bladder, urethra, and kidneys.

UTIs are prevalent in women because their urethras are smaller. This makes it simpler for bacteria to pass to the bladder. The chances of developing UTIs increase as people get older. This is because of hormonal changes, weakened immune systems, and other health problems that are common in older adults.

Over 8 million people see doctors for UTIs every year. If untreated, it can cause kidney infections, especially in older people. UTI prevention and symptom awareness may help you or a loved one stay healthy.

This article will discuss practical ways to prevent this common disease in women. So, let’s proceed.

What is UTI?

UTIs are bacterial infections of the ureters, kidneys, bladder, or urethra. Bacteria frequently cause UTIs by entering the urinary tract via the urethra and growing in the bladder. UTIs vary in severity and location within the urinary system. Generally, they are of two types,

  • Lower UTIs: These infections affect the urethra (urethritis) and bladder (cystitis).
  • Upper UTIs: Also known as pyelonephritis, upper UTIs occur when bacteria travel up the ureters and infect the kidneys.

Related: How to Prevent UTI

Symptoms and Causes of UTIs in Elderly Women

UTI symptoms may vary in older people due to their immune system efficacy. The most common symptoms of UTI may include,

  • Blood in the pee
  • Pain, burning, or discomfort when urinating
  • Feeling extremely tired (fatigue)
  • The bladder does not feel empty after urination
  • Pain in the lower abdomen or back
  • Chill
  • Cloudy, thick, or odorous urine
  • Increased urination urgency
  • Feeling pressure in the lower abdomen or pelvis
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

UTIs are more common in people with mobility issues, weakened immune systems, or urinary tract blockages. Kidney stones or a bigger prostate can also cause these blockages.

Related: Can UTI Cause Headache?

Strategies to Prevent UTIs in Elderly Women

A urinary tract infection can be unpleasant, itchy, and painful, particularly for elderly persons. However, you may prevent UTIs with simple steps. These include,

1. Stay Hydrated

Consume a lot of liquids, primarily water. Water helps dilute urine and remove germs from the urinary system. It is advised to consume at least eight glasses of water every day.

2. Adopt Good Hygiene

Keeping clean is one of the most effective strategies to avoid UTIs. Keep in mind if you possess a vagina, your urethra is of a shorter length. And the chances of E. coli moving from your rectum to your body more efficiently. After using the toilet, wipe front-to-back to prevent anal-to-urethra bacteria transfer. Bathing regularly prevents genital infections.

During your monthly cycle, you should also change your period products, such as pads and tampons, regularly.

3. Urinate Before and After Sex

Urinate before as well as after sexual intercourse. Sex can bring bacteria into your urethra. Pee before and after sex helps drain out bacteria, lowering the chance of UTI symptoms in women, which are more common due to the urethra’s proximity to the anus.

Related: How to Prevent UTI When You Feel it Coming

4. Wear Breathable Clothing

Bacteria thrive in heat and moisture from tight, non-breathable garments. Choose loose-fitting underwear made from breathable natural fibers like cotton to lower the chance of UTIs. It will help keep the genital area dry.

5. Practice Regular Toileting Habits

Urination aids in the expulsion of bacteria from your body. Urine is a by-product of waste; when you void your bladder, your body eliminates this waste. Frequently peeing can lower your risk of getting an infection, especially if you have UTIs often.

How to prevent UTI in Elderly Women?

6. Avoid Irritant Foods

Certain chemicals, such as alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods, can irritate the bladder and increase UTI symptoms. UTI patients should avoid these drugs to relieve symptoms.

7. Change your Birth Control

UTI risk increases for those using the improper birth control technique. Specific methods, such as diaphragms and non-lubricated condoms, may contribute to bacterial overgrowth and female UTI symptoms. It is advised to discuss alternative contraceptive methods with a healthcare professional.

8. Empty Bladder Completely

Emptying your bladder thoroughly after urinating can prevent stagnant urine buildup and reduce the risk of bacterial growth. Encourage elderly ladies to urinate wholly and slowly to minimize this risk.

9. Maintain a Healthy Diet and Take Probiotics.

A well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, and probiotics promotes general immune system health and helps the body fight bacterial infections. Eat probiotic-rich foods like yogurt to maintain a healthy urinary microbiome.

10. Medications

If you have UTI, a doctor at a primary care clinic may recommend an estrogen-containing vaginal cream for postmenopausal women. (2). These lotions may reduce your chances of acquiring a UTI by adjusting the pH of your vagina.

You can also use supplements like cranberry extract and probiotics to help settle urinary tract infections (UTIs). It is essential to talk to your doctor before using supplements.

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The Closing Remarks

Preventing UTIs in older women is crucial for their health. Daily prevention can lower UTI risk and enhance urinary tract health in older women.

Maintaining cleanliness, staying hydrated, and getting medical assistance helps lower UTI risk. Regular toileting, breathable clothing, and a balanced diet help older women maintain urinary tract health.

Older women can reduce UTIs and enhance their quality of life by learning how to prevent them. Older women can preserve urinary tract health and well-being with effort and care.

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Dr. Farhan Malik Primary Care Physician
Dr. Shoaib Malik Primary Care Physician

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