One out of every two women in menopause is living with chronic UTI’s.

A chronic UTI is defined as 3+ UTIs in a single year. According to a 2019 study in the Journal of Molecular Biology, 55% of women in menopause will experience chronic, recurring UTIs.

How Menopause Contributes to Chronic UTIs

While menopause itself does not directly cause chronic UTIs, several factors associated with menopause increase the risk of UTIs in women. Here are some reasons:

  1. Hormonal Changes: During menopause, estrogen levels decline. Estrogen helps maintain the health of the urogenital tract, including the bladder and urethra. The decrease in estrogen leads to changes in the urinary tract, making it more susceptible to infections.
  2. Changes in Vaginal pH: Estrogen maintains the acidic environment of the vagina, which helps prevent harmful bacteria growth. As estrogen levels decrease, the pH of the vagina becomes less acidic, creating a more favorable environment for bacteria, including those that can cause UTIs.
  3. Thinning of Urethral Tissues: The decline in estrogen results in the thinning of tissues in the urethra and bladder. Weakened tissues are more prone to infections.
  4. Altered Vaginal Microbiome: Menopause influences the composition of the vaginal microbiome. Changes in the balance of bacteria in the genital area contribute to an increased risk of UTIs, specifically a decrease in Lactobacillus, which is a “good” bacteria that keeps out “bad” bacteria.
  5. Urinary Incontinence: Menopausal women may experience urinary incontinence, which increases the likelihood of bacteria entering the urethra and causing infections.

Managing Chronic UTIs in Menopause Involves Dual Treatment

The changes caused by menopause indicate that managing both the urinary tract and the vaginal canal is necessary to break the chronic UTI cycle.

1. Urinary Tract Therapeutics: D-Mannose and Cranberry

D-Mannose Powder To Clear UTI Symptoms

A natural supplement called D-Mannose has been proven to clear UTI symptoms faster and more completely. It is a powder extracted from fruits that produces glucose, a healthy sugar our body makes.

The UTI-causing bacteria are attracted to the D-Mannose sugar molecules. Consequently, they let go of the bladder lining and bind to these molecules, which are then quickly washed out with the urine.

It effectively targets E. Coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae, representing 80% of all bacteria. Unlike antibiotics, it does not harm good bacteria and does not have digestive or vaginal side effects.

High-Powered Cranberry Extract  To Protect Against New UTIs

Recent scientific research confirms that cranberry does not alleviate UTI symptoms. However, at certain concentration levels, it prevents new infections.

Cranberry’s role is to coat the bladder so that new bacteria cannot adhere to its slippery surface. Only cranberry products that show a daily dose of “36 mg PAC” on the label will prevent new UTIs. PAC stands for proanthocyanidins, which are the phenols that make cranberry work. Once UTI symptoms are no longer present, or urine test strips show negative UTI results, you can take a daily dose of cranberry to stay UTI-free.

2. Vaginal Therapeutics: Estrogen and Probiotics

Menopause gradually causes a loss of both the estrogen hormone and the “good” Lactobacilli in the vagina that help stave off UTIs.

Estrogen To Protect Against UTI Bacteria

A 2020 article in “Urology” provides a detailed case study and findings regarding the use of estrogen therapy to address these imbalances in estrogen and Lactobacilli.

As estrogen depletes, the vaginal wall dries out, and infectious bacteria settle in its crevices. This contributes to both vaginal and urinary tract problems. These alterations create a hospitable environment for bacterial growth and increase the risk of UTIs. Applying estrogen (via ring or cream) has been clinically proven as a defense against UTIs.

Doctors recommend several brands of estrogen cream. Estrace cream or Estradiol vaginal gel, insert, and ring are most frequently recommended.

Probiotics To Replenish Lost Lactobacillus

Lactobacillus is the most frequently isolated microorganism from the healthy human vagina (including four strains: Lactobacillus crispatus, Lactobacillus gasseri, Lactobacillus iners, and Lactobacillus jensenii). These vaginal lactobacilli prevent the invasion of bacteria by keeping their population in check. Probiotics help manage the right balance of vaginal flora.

There are many ways to administer probiotics and an overwhelming number of probiotic strains. Oral probiotics for vaginal balance work, but research shows that using probiotic suppositories is much more effective. In this 2021 article the conclusion was: “Vaginal suppositories containing the GAI 98322 strain of Lactobacillus crispatus effectively prevent episodes of recurrent cystitis (UTIs), both during administration and for at least 1 year after administration.”