What increases my risk of a urinary tract infection?

Urinary tract infections most commonly occur in sexually active women ages 20 to 25. Frequent sexual intercourse may increase this risk because it can push bacteria into the bladder. Also, a woman can also get a urinary tract infection from wiping incorrectly, from back to front, after a bowel movement. Women are more likely to get a urinary tract infection compared to men, even if they aren’t sexually active. (This answer provided for NATA by the University of Montana Athletic Training Education Program.)

A variety of factors appear to be related to an increased incidence of urinary tract infection. High risk factors include:

  • being female
  • sexual activity
  • certain types of birth control such as usage of a diaphragm and spermicidal agents
  • advancing age
  • urinary outflow obstruction, such as kidney stones
  • catheter usage
  • chronic illnesses such as diabetes
  • Congenital deformity of the urinary tract anatomy can also place one at increased risk for urinary tract infections.