Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common among menopausal women, and there are several reasons for this. The decrease in oestrogen levels during menopause can lead to changes in the urinary tract that increase the risk of developing UTIs.
Oestrogen helps to maintain the multiple layers of the vagina as also the urinary tract. Bacteria called Lactobacilli are rod shaped bacteria that are the normal, or, the ‘good bacteria’ in the vagina. These bacteria help to maintain an acidic pH in the vagina - a process which is dependent on oestrogen.
In the absence of oestrogen, the vagina and the urinary tract becomes thin and dry and lacking its normal moisture. Without oestrogen, the pH of the vagina is no more acidic because of which the good bacteria are unable to survive and this makes it easier for other pathogenic, or disease causing, bacteria to invade the vagina - thus leading to vaginal infections.
To reduce the risk of UTIs, you should try staying hydrated, using simple vaginal moisturisers and also by avoiding douching. In case this does not help, your doctor may prescribe a topical oestrogen cream or other hormone replacement therapy that may help restore oestrogen levels and reduce the risk of UTIs.