How common are urinary tract infections (UTI)?

UTIs are common in women across all ages, though men do get them, says Timothy Atkinson, MD, from Frankfort Regional Medical Center. Learn how men might contract one, and the reason women are UTIs' primary victims, in this short video.
Dr. Robin Miller, MD
Internal Medicine

Urinary tract infections or UTI’s are the second most common type of infection in the body. There are approximately 8.1 million doctor visits a year as a result. Women are more likely to develop a UTI. The reason is that women have a short urethra, which allows bacteria quick access to the bladder. It is also close to the vagina and anal area where bacteria live. In a woman’s lifetime she has a 50% risk of having a UTI. Men can develop UTI’s but this is less likely, but it can be serious when men have these types of infection.

The incidence of urinary tract infection varies depending on sex and age group, accounting for more than 8 million physician visits per year in the U.S. The condition develops in women with much greater frequency than in men. Urinary tract infections are a relatively common infection in children, both male and female, under the age of two. However, urinary tract infections are rare in males above the age of two.