So what is midlife anyway, other than, to some, an insult.. Midlife is exactly that, the middle of your life, so if we expect to live to say 85, then midlife is around the 43 year mark. A time when we have learned our lessons from youth, allowing us to lead happier more productive lives. A second chance of sorts.
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection caused by bacteria entering the urinary track. This causes a burning sensation when urinating, and also creates moderate discomfort in the tract itself, giving us the illusion that we need to pee, when in fact we don’t. Often times this infection is attributed to dehydration, and also to intimacy, when the bacteria from the vagina or rectum enters the UT by mistake.
In midlife, UTI may become more frequent, this is generally caused by a reduction in your estrogen levels. The eco-system of bacteria in your vagina is a balance of both good and bad types. Our estrogen levels keep the good bacteria thriving, therefore creating a positive environment of bacteria in the vagina. For this reason, UTIs are curbed, because the bacteria that may enter the urinary tract is the good type which doesn’t cause infections.
Once the estrogen levels go down a little in perimenopause, one of the symptoms you may be experiencing is an increase in UTI infections. As mentioned, the good bacteria, known as lactobacillus is no longer as effective as before, which causes an environment of less positivity in the vagina. During sex, this bad bacteria (which is now more rampant) will cause an infection in the urinary tract.
Recommendations for a recurring UTI is to increase your levels of estrogen. Hormonal supplements are not for everyone, as they are said to cause cancer or heart conditions. Topical estrogen creams can also help, Estrodiol is the ingredient which is used in these creams, look out for it.