So we know that women are more likely to get urinary tract infections (UTIs), but why does their risk for the pesky infections increase during menopause?
Well, it turns out, it all has to do with estrogen.
Low estrogen levels have been linked to recurrent UTIs. It turns out that the handy hormone helps produce antimicrobial proteins in the bladder and helps strengthen the tissue in the urinary tract. So, the lower the estrogen levels, the less protection you get from infection. And one big symptom of menopause… low estrogen levels.
So, what can be done? Although antibiotics are typically standard for treating UTIs, this becomes difficult for women who are experiencing recurrent infections. With more and more antibiotic treatments, some women are becoming drug-resistant, leaving them with few alternative options. However, since discovering the linkage between low estrogen and UTIs, researchers have been looking for alternative solutions to antibiotic treatment, and they might have found one.
One study showed promising results for vaginal estrogen cream. The study showed that application of vaginal estrogen cream brought back those preventative benefits of estrogen and helped prevent women from experiencing recurrent UTIs. While some are concerned about taking estrogen in pill form (due to its association with increased risk for cancers and disease), there is no evidence showing that vaginal estrogen cream leads to these risks.
If you’re struggling to find a preventative for your recurring UTIs, this might just be the ticket for you. Check with your health care provider to see if this might be an option.