Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What Causes the First UTI a Woman Develops?

Like most women suspect, often the first UTI a woman will have is related to sexual activity. In bygone days, it was called “honeymoon cystitis”, referring to a bladder infection the developed after have sex on the honeymoon. Recently researchers in Florida characterized the presentation and risk factors of the first UTI women experience.

181 women who visited the university health clinic in Gainsville, Florida for their first UTI were observed and compared to controls. Urinary urgency and frequency were the two predominant presenting symptoms in these young women. The average age was 21 years. Sexual activity was the most important risk factor for their first UTI, with vaginal intercourse and number of sex partners within the prior two weeks. Interestingly, tampon use vs. pads during menstruation and direction of wiping was not strongly correlated to first UTI. (These are two hygiene practices I ask about in my female patients who have recurrent UTIs, though).

There was found a strong correlation to coffee and tea consumption, and a weak correlation to alcohol consumption. E coli was the most common bacteria isolated in cultures, followed by Ureaplasma. E coli happens to be the most common bacteria causing all UTIs.

The ultimate conclusion of the researchers was that certain lifestyle choices are the items that pose the risk for development of the first UTI.

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