The Urology Foundation - Urinary Tract Infections

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Leaky Bladder

Postby Lovetolaugh on Wed May 23, 2018 4:47 pm

Im in my early 60s. I have stress incontinence and have seeked help but still ongoing. My question is would this be adding to suffering from UTIs. I am still sexually active and feel this is linked to UTIs as well? Im sure there are others out there with the same problem. Pelvic floor exercises are not enough..what do you advise?
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Re: Leaky Bladder

Postby Mr Adrian Joyce on Thu May 24, 2018 1:57 pm

Thank you for your question - I note that you have stress incontinence and it is reported that as many as 50% of females over the age of 40 have experienced some episodes of wetting.

The issue of infection is likely to be multifactorial in that some women with stress incontinence do experience more frequent episodes of UTI and it can also be a consequence of the menopause whereby you have lost the protective effect of oestrogen by increasing the vaginal pH and making you more susceptible to a urinary infection. As a consequence sexual activity can increase your potential infection risk and I can assure you that there are others out there with the same problem!!

It is worth discussing your situation with the GP especially as you are finding that Pelvic floor exercises are not enough..topical oestrogen has been shown in studies to decrease the recurrent UTI rate in postmenopausal women but given your stress incontinence problem it might be worth seeing a urologist with an interest in female and pelvic floor disorders or a uro-gynaecologist to be properly evaluated and discuss the possible treatment options further.

The BAUS website ( has a useful information sheet in the patient help section on measures that one can take to reduce the risk of further UTI which I hope you would find useful.
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Re: Leaky Bladder

Postby Mr Chris Harding on Thu May 24, 2018 2:02 pm

Sexual activity certainly can be associated with urinary tract infections. The link between incontinence and UTI is less well defined. UTIs can cause worsening of existing incontinence but there is little evidence to show that incontinence can cause UTIs. The mechanism of UTIs following on from sexual activity is via contamination of the peri-urethral area (area surrounding the waterpipe) with bacteria from the vagina or rectal reservoir. One way of reducing this would be to use either a vaginal moisturizer or vaginal oestrogen treatment. The theory behind the use of these products is that it encourages vaginal colonization with "good" bacteria which displace the "bad" bacteria (usually E coli) and reduce the risk of UTI related to sexual activity. Perhaps you should discuss this with your GP.
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Re: Leaky Bladder

Postby Lovetolaugh on Thu May 24, 2018 9:12 pm

Thank you very much for your information. I will definately be booking an appointment with my GP to discuss options that are available for me. I feel i am too young to be suffering with this problem and it does get me down. I am glad i have taken the time to write and hopefully your answers will help others.
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