URISTAT® provided data on menopause symptoms and urinary tract infections as part of their Never on Pause education effort to facilitate this sponsored conversation.
I thought I knew it all when it came to menopause and perimenopause. After all, I’ve been dealing with it for the last few years. But I’ve learned that beyond the more readily known changes that include night sweats, hot flashes, emotional changes, irregular periods, headaches, vaginal dryness, insomnia, and heart palpitations, it’s also a time when urinary tract infections (UTI) are common. While that’s a long list of symptoms, don’t panic. Not every woman gets them all, in fact; I have just two of them. But knowing what’s possible makes it easier to deal with symptoms when they arise.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
Before we talk about UTI’s and menopause I want to make sure you know the symptoms. Often the first sign of a UTI is a burning sensation when urinating. The urine can be cloudy or bloody, pale pink to brown in color, and have a strong odor. You may also feel like you need to urinate but not be able to pass urine, or pass very little. Pelvic pain, pressure, and cramping can also be signs of a UTI. You may also experience fever and chills and older women may suffer from acute incontinence or confusion. Drinking water and taking an over-the-counter pain reliever will help, but you need to see a doctor for a diagnosis and prescription antibiotics.
Don’t put off contacting your doctor. Untreated UTI’s can spread to your kidneys and cause permanent damage.
UTI’s and Menopause (and Perimenopause)
Many women think their chance of UTI’s go away after their 20’s where they’re prevalent because of new, or more frequent intercourse (some call it honeymoon cystitis). But with the changes in a woman’s body during perimenopause and menopause, the number of incidents rise with 53% of women over 55 experiencing at least three UTI’s in a 12-month period. The reason for the increase may surprise you. The cause is the decrease in the production of estrogen secreted by the ovaries that create a climate that encourages the growth of harmful bacteria in the urethra and vagina.
Steps to Avoid Urinary Track Infections
There are simple ways to avoid a UTI and they apply for women of any age.
- Drink Lots of Water – staying hydrated leads to frequent urination that flushes out the harmful bacteria.
- Don’t Hold It – Holding your urine gives bacteria a chance to multiply.
- Avoid Contaminating Yourself – When you eliminate, remember to clean from front to back to prevent fecal material from contaminating your urethra and vagina.
- Urinate after Intercourse – Flushing the urethra as soon as possible after sex will help you avoid UTI’s.
- Skip the Feminine Hygiene Products – Anything that can cause irritation should be avoided. Those can include vaginal sprays and deodorants, powders, and douches.
- Choose Underwear Carefully – While silky fabrics are attractive, a cotton crotch is a must-have for keeping your genitals dry.
Over the Counter Pain Relief for UTIs
Nothing you can purchase over-the-counter (OTC) will cure a UTI, but you can get temporary relief from the pain and burning while you see your doctor and start your prescription antibiotics. URISTAT® products include phenazopyridine HCl, the #1 doctor recommended ingredient to temporarily treat the pain and discomfort of UTI’s. Choose from URISTAT® Pain Relief Tablets or URISTAT® Relief PAK which also includes a URISTAT® UTI Test Strips which will help you determine if you have a UTI. Both of these products can be taken as soon as you experience symptoms.
Get Additional UTI Info Plus a URISTAT Coupon
URISTAT® products are available at online and local retailers across the US including Kmart, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Kinney Drugs, DrugStore.com, and Walmart. Find a retailer near you with the Where to Buy Locator.
Did you know there was an OTC solution to the pain and burning of a UTI?