Bladder Infections In Menopause

Bladder infections, also known urinary tract infections (UTI) are very common during perimenopause and menopause; these are bacterial infections and a common example is cystitis.

Symptoms of bladder infections

Symptoms of bladder infections include:

  • a burning sensation when you urinate
  • cloudy urine
  • unpleasant smelling urine
  • needing to urinate frequently even when you have only just been to the toilet
  • generally feeling unwell
  • fever (this is less common)

Why does the menopause cause bladder infections?

Women are more prone to bladder infections than men and the risk of infection increases when you reach menopausal age because the drop in oestrogen levels causes the wall of the urethra to become thinner and the muscles to weaken; this may result in tiny pockets forming in the urethra, which attract bacteria. There is also evidence to suggest that pH levels in the urinary tract alter as a result of menopause and this can increase susceptibility to infections.

Treating bladder infections?

If you have a bladder infection, there are things you can do at home to help, but you will need to be treated by a doctor. Good hygiene, drinking plenty of fluid, avoiding alcohol and getting plenty of rest can all help, but you will need to take antibiotics if you do have an infection. If you have symptoms of an infection, it is important to contact your GP as soon as you can; they will usually make a diagnosis based on a urine sample. A course of oral antibiotics (tablets) is usually sufficient to clear up infections. To prevent recurrent infections, it's important to urinate frequently (never try and hold urine in for long periods of time) and keep hydrated.

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