What increases my risk of a urinary tract infection?

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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.