Skip to content

Urinary Tract Infections in Teens and Adults

Font Size

What Increases Your Risk

Risk factors in women

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are most common in young to middle-aged sexually active women. Things that increase a woman's risk of getting UTIs include:

  • Sexual activity, which pushes bacteria into the urethra. Sexual activity with the use of a diaphragm and spermicide raises the risk.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Previous UTIs.
  • Lack of estrogen, which allows bacteria that can cause UTIs to grow more easily in the vagina or urethra. Women who have gone through menopause are at increased risk for UTIs.

Risk factors in men

Things that increase a man's risk of UTIs include:

Risk factors in both women and men

Certain risk factors apply to both women and men. These include:

  • Having a catheter in place. Bacteria can enter the catheter and start an infection. Most at risk are older adults who are in hospitals or who live in long-term care facilities.
  • Kidney stones and other obstructions in the urinary tract. These may block the flow of urine, raising the risk of bacterial infection.
  • Diabetes. People with diabetes are at greater risk for UTIs because their immune systems are weakened. Also, long-term high blood sugar can damage the kidneys' filtering system (diabetic nephropathy).
  • Structural problems of the urinary tract. These may be present at birth or develop later in life.
1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 13, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

bloodstream
Tips to help prevent clots.
checking blood sugar
Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.
acupuncture needle on shoulder
Live and thrive.
gloved hand holding syringe
10 preventable diseases.
lone star tick
How to identify that bite.
man eating meal
Folates, green tea and more.
brain scan with soda
Tips to avoid complications.
disciplining a boy
Types, symptoms, causes.
Woman with stressed, fatigue
Get relief tips.
restroom sign
Food and drinks that make you go.
two male hands
Understanding RA.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.