Women are more susceptible to UTIs compared to men: Dr. Malla

Pawan Mudbhari

January 25, 2024


Women are more susceptible to UTIs compared to men: Dr. Malla

KATHMANDU: A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection that can affect any part of the urinary system, including the kidneys, bladder, and urethra.

Failure to maintain proper genital hygiene increases the risk of UTIs. Additionally, infections originating from other parts of the body can also reach the urinary tract.

According to Dr. Bimala Malla, a gynecologist, UTIs tend to be more common during cold weather.

Moreover, women are more susceptible to UTIs compared to men, a phenomenon attributed to their unique physical structure.

The proximity of the urinary bladder to the sites of menstruation and defecation, sharing the same anatomical line, makes women more prone to these infections. Excerpts of an interview with Dr. Malla:

To start, could you enlighten us on why urinary tract infections tend to be more common in women, especially during cold weather?

Certainly. Urinary tract infections are indeed more prevalent in women during colder months.

This can be attributed to certain habits associated with the season, such as decreased water intake, prolonged indoor stays, wearing thick clothing, and inadequate hygiene practices during menstruation.

It’s interesting to note the impact of seasonal habits. You mentioned that out of 10 patients seeking treatment, five come with urinary problems. Why is it that married women, in particular, are more susceptible to urinary tract infections?

Married women are more prone to urinary tract infections due to their active sexual life.

There’s a potential for the transmission of urinary problems from husbands to wives.

Additionally, factors like holding urine for extended periods, inadequate toilet hygiene, and post-urination cleanliness play a role.

The physical proximity of the urinary bladder to the sites of menstruation and defecation also contributes to the increased risk in women.

Could you elaborate on the symptoms that individuals should be aware of to identify a urinary tract infection?

Symptoms of urinary tract infections can vary, and in some cases, may not be apparent. Common signs include lower abdominal pain, a burning sensation or pain after urination, and even fever.

Individuals may experience the urge to urinate frequently or pass urine in small amounts.

Additionally, the presence of blood in the urine, nighttime urination, and severe abdominal pain during or before urination are red flags. In more severe cases, the infection can cause significant pain.

Is there anything else you would like to add or any advice for our audience?

It’s crucial for individuals, especially women, to prioritize good hygiene practices, stay hydrated, and seek prompt medical attention if they notice any symptoms of a urinary tract infection.

Regular check-ups and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can go a long way in preventing these infections.

Dr. Malla, you mentioned earlier that urinary tract infections are not contagious. Could you elaborate on how the infection is or isn’t transmitted from one person to another?

Certainly. Urinary tract infections are not inherently contagious, but there are certain conditions that can facilitate their transmission.

If contaminated water, used by an infected person, is not properly treated or if bathroom hygiene is compromised, it can serve as a medium for transmission.

Additionally, if a partner has a urinary tract infection, it can potentially be transmitted through sexual intercourse.

It’s reassuring to know that it’s not directly contagious. Have there been any notable changes in the prevalence of urinary tract infections over time?

With the increasing awareness of reproductive health, there has been a positive trend in reducing the incidence of urinary tract infections.

Schools now provide comprehensive information about reproductive health, emphasizing hygiene.

While the problem was more pronounced in rural areas due to sanitation neglect, the situation is gradually improving as people are seeking treatment promptly.

What are the potential consequences if a urinary tract infection is not treated in a timely manner?

Untreated urinary tract infections can lead to complications such as the formation of stones, tuberculosis, and other diseases.

Recurring problems can also impact mental health. As the infection progresses, it may affect the kidneys, causing symptoms like fever and stomach ache.

Timely treatment is crucial to prevent these complications.

Moving on, what preventive measures can individuals take to avoid urinary tract infections?

Both men and women should prioritize hygiene to prevent urinary tract infections.

Regular urination intervals of one and a half to two hours, staying adequately hydrated, and maintaining cleanliness in personal spaces, especially toilets, are essential.

Changing menstrual hygiene products regularly, such as pads, and seeking medical attention for any urination-related issues are also crucial preventive measures.

It’s valuable advice for our audience. Finally, what recommendations do you have for individuals facing urinary tract infections and seeking treatment?

If someone suspects a urinary tract infection, prompt medical treatment is the best course of action.

Attention to dietary habits and maintaining hygiene are equally important.

It’s not just about adults; educating children about urinary tract infections is crucial to raising awareness and addressing the issue in a timely manner.