Coordinated Health

The Infection that Wrecks Summer for Millions of Women

July 17, 2018

No matter the season, women often get the worst as far as health is concerned. Between menopause, menstruation, and the various biological changes our bodies undergo during years of puberty, it seems like we can’t catch a break. As if dealing with all of this weren’t enough, women are four times more likely to get a urinary tract infection (UTI) than a man.

Every year, close to 10 million doctor visits are the result of someone suffering from a UTI. Researchers have found that urinary tract infections peak during the summertime and we asked Coordinated Health Urologist, Dr. Jonathan Bingham, why UTIs are more likely to occur in the summertime and how to protect yourself from this painful condition. 

What is the cause of a UTI?

“A urinary tract infection, or UTI, is an infection in the urine, affecting any part of the urinary tract. These are usually bacterial infections. They primarily affect the bladder and urethra but can lead to infections of the kidneys,” explained Dr. Bingham.

What are the common symptoms of a UTI in women?

  • Pain or a burning sensation when urinating
  • An urgent and frequent need to urinate, often voiding small amounts at a time
  • Pain in your back or side near your ribs
  • Pressure or pain in your lower belly
  • Foul smelling urine, which may be cloudy or dark in color.
  • These symptoms can be associated with fever and/or chills

Why is it more common for a woman to get a UTI than a man?

“Women have shorter urethras than men. This enables bacteria to travel more easily into the bladder and cause an infection,” said Bingham, MD. “Bacteria is often introduced up through the urethra by sexual activity.”

Why Are UTIs more common during hot and humid months?

“Urinary tract infections can be more common in the summertime due to patient’s being somewhat more dehydrated because of hot weather. Wet bathing suits and sweaty clothing may also be a cause,” said Dr. Bingham.

What should I do if I think I am suffering from a UTI?

 “If you are experiencing symptoms of a UTI, please schedule an appointment with a doctor. I notice that patients who experience discomfort are often too embarrassed to seek medical attention. They shouldn’t be. This is a very common condition, which can be easily treated. It’s important to seek medical attention as soon as you experience symptoms because the condition can worsen if left untreated.”

How can a woman protect themselves from a UTI?

  • Drink more fluids
  • Urinate when you first get the sensation of need
  • Avoid wearing tight undergarments and swim wear
  • If you are sexually active, urinate immediately after sex
  • Follow the front to back wiping motion for simply “blotting” after urinating

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Jonathan Bingham, please call 610-861-8080.

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