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Ageing Gracefully: UTIs in Elderly Women and Strategies for Prevention

Although ageing is a beautiful and natural aspect of life, it can also present several difficulties. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a prevalent concern among women because of anatomical differences; women are more likely to have UTIs. The urethra, the tube that carries pee from the bladder, is shorter in women. This shorter channel makes it simpler for germs to enter the bladder which causes infections in women. Older women are more susceptible due to age-related atrophic changes and consequent deficit local protective mechanism of lower urinary tract. Other problems of old age like urinary/ fecal incontinence, uncontrolled diabetes, cognitive dysfunction etc.; could also be some of the potentiating factors. Not only can these illnesses cause bodily discomfort, but Recurrent UTI impact on mental health and well-being. 


Urinary tract infections are more common in older people, particularly women over 65. The incidence of UTIs climbs dramatically to over 10% in these adults and almost 30% in women over 85, indicating the age-related sensitivity to UTIs.


This blog will explore the topic of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in older women, including their UTI impact on mental health, and symptoms for UTI in females to watch out for.


What is UTI?


Any area of the urinary system, including the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra, may get infected resulting in Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). UTIs affect women more frequently than men. Beyond physical symptoms, the Recurrent UTI impact on mental health is significant, adding a layer of discomfort and potential distress to one's overall well-being. 

  • Recurrent UTI impact on mental health like Chronic illnesses, especially intimacy-triggered ones, can strain relationships, emphasizing the need for transparent communication.
  • Fear or anxiety related to UTIs from intimacy can strain relationships. 
  • Those with chronic illnesses are twice as likely to experience anxiety and depression.


Symptoms to Watch for UTIs


Recognizing the symptoms for UTI in females is crucial for early detection and prompt treatment. Symptoms may be subtle in older women, so paying attention to changes in urinary habits is essential. Common symptoms for UTI in females include:

  • Urgency and Frequent Urination are symptoms for Lower UTI in females
  1. Burning Sensation During Urination
  2. Cloudy or Strong-Smelling Urine
  3. Pelvic Pain or Discomfort
  4. Symptoms for UTI in females  may also include Fatigue, Fever or Chills on involvement of upper urinary tract.


Strategic Steps for UTI Prevention: Ways to Safeguard Your Urinary Tract


Explore these preventative strategies to fortify your urinary tract health and reduce the risk of symptoms for UTI female.

    1. Stay Hydrated:
      • Throughout the day, sip on lots of liquids, particularly water.
      • Increased urine production helps flush bacteria out of the urinary tract, lowering the risk of infection.
    2. Avoid Holding Urine:
      • Refrain from holding in urine for prolonged periods.
      • Waiting no more than 3 to 4 hours between bathroom breaks helps prevent bacterial growth in the urinary tract.
      • Holding urine can increase the risk of symptoms for UTI female, particularly for pregnant women. 
    3. Urinate Before and After Sex:
      • Both before and after engaging in sexual activity, urinate.
      • This helps flush out bacteria, reducing the risk of symptoms for UTI female, which can be more common in women due to the proximity of the urethra to the anus.
    4. Avoid Scented Products:
      • Steer clear of scented feminine goods, including deodorant sprays, powders, pads, tampons, and douches.
      • These products can disrupt the natural balance of vaginal bacteria, potentially leading to symptoms for UTI female and other infections.
    5. Wipe Front to Back:
      • Practice proper hygiene by wiping from front to back after using the bathroom may prevent the symptoms for UTI female. 
      • This reduces the risk of introducing E. coli from the rectum to the urethra, a common source of UTI-causing bacteria.
    6. Explore Birth Control Options:
      • Evaluate your birth control method's impact on UTI risk.
  • Specific methods, like diaphragms and non-lubricated condoms, may promote bacterial overgrowth and symptoms for UTI female. 
  1. Take Probiotics:
    • Introduce probiotics into your routine to enhance good bacteria in the urinary tract.
    • Consume fermented foods like yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, or tempeh, or consider probiotic supplements or suppositories to avoid symptoms for UTI female.
  2. Consider Antibiotics:
    • If recurrent UTIs are an issue, consult your doctor about a small daily dose of oral antibiotics.
    • This preventative measure helps control harmful bacteria and can also be taken after sex or at the early onset of symptoms for UTI female
  3. Incorporate Cranberry extract:
    • While scientific evidence is inconclusive, cranberries have been a traditional remedy for preventing symptoms for UTI female
    • Certain compounds in cranberries may inhibit E. coli adhesion to urinary tract tissues.


UTI Prevention: Foods to Avoid


This is a thorough list of items to stay away during episodes of active UTI. This will help in reducing the symptoms of UTIs:

    1. Caffeine Caution:
  • Cut back on caffeine in coffee, tea, and sodas to reduce bladder irritation and alleviate symptoms for a female UTI. 
    • Opt for decaffeinated alternatives for a gentler impact on the urinary tract.
  1. Spice Sensibility:
    •  To prevent urinary tract irritation, UTI foods to avoid are spicy food intake, particularly chilli peppers.
    • Balance flavours without compromising urinary well-being.
  2. Citrus Moderation:
    • While rich in vitamin C, UTI foods to avoid are citrus fruits that can be acidic and potentially irritating for those prone to UTIs. 
    • Diversify fruit choices with options lower in acidity to support urinary health.
  3. Steer Clear of Artificial Sweeteners:
    • UTI foods to avoid are sweeteners like aspartame, which may aggravate the bladder symptoms for UTI in females. 
    • Choose natural sweeteners or moderate sugar consumption for bladder-friendly alternatives to avoid increased symptoms for UTI in females
  4. Mindful Dairy Choices:
    • Opt for low-fat or non-fat dairy to mitigate inflammation that can worsen symptoms for UTI female. 
    • Make conscious dairy selections as part of a balanced diet.
  5. Moderate Alcohol Intake:
    • UTI foods to avoid are alcohol consumption to prevent dehydration, concentrating urine and potential urinary tract irritation.
    • Stay hydrated with water to counterbalance the effects of alcohol on UTI risk.
  6. Processed Food Awareness:
    • UTI foods to avoid are processed food intake, known for high salt and preservatives that may contribute to inflammation.
    • Prioritize whole, unprocessed foods to support immune function and urinary tract health.




Maintaining one's physical and mental health proactively is essential to aging gracefully. Making smart food choices, exploring the possible effects of  UTI, and comprehending the connection between Recurrent UTIs and mental health; are all essential components of this journey. 

Safeguard your loved one's well-being with expert care from senior health professionals. Consult specialists at a multi-speciality hospital to ensure comprehensive preventive measures for UTIs in elderly women. 

Dr. Amita Jain
Renal Care
Meet The Doctor
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