Menopause urinary tract infections: are there treatments to help prevent them?
The menopause is different for every woman, but you may experience more frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs) at this stage of life.
“The general dryness of the lower urinary tract can affect the vagina and the bladder. These changes can cause women to experience irritation of the bladder, and more of an urge to go to the toilet,” says Miss Tania Adib, Consultant Gynaecologist at our clinic.
Why do lower oestrogen levels affect healthy bacteria?
The vaginal microbiome is responsible for keeping the vagina clean and functioning well, but with the decline in oestrogen during menopause, comes a decline in these healthy bacteria.
“Healthy bacteria that normally live in the vagina and keep everything functioning properly are no longer there in the quantity that they need to be. So that predisposes women to recurrent UTIs,” says Miss Tania Adib.
How do I treat menopause urinary tract infections?
Although urinary tract infections can be cleared up with antibiotics, the symptoms can be uncomfortable – from frequent and painful urination to having to refrain from sex – and can be disruptive to daily life. If UTIs return frequently and become known as recurrent (that is, if you have more than three infections in a year, or two in the previous six months) you may be looking for effective ways to prevent them. Thankfully, there are some very beneficial treatments available in our clinic.
“It’s great that there are now effective treatments to help women who have recurrent UTIs. I’m getting some fantastic responses from the patients I treat,” says Miss Tania Adib.
How can treatments help to prevent UTIs?
“MonaLisa Touch laser treatment re-establishes vaginal microbiome and increases the lactobacillus bacteria, helping to restore a healthy balance in the vagina,” says Miss Tania Adib.
Of course, it’s common for patients who are going through the menopause, or who have already been through it, to experience other issues, such as mild urinary stress incontinence or urge incontinence.
“If a woman comes to see me with mild incontinence issues, then I may treat her with Radiofrequency Therapy to improve the collagen in the vaginal tissues. This not only improves bladder function. It also has a positive impact on the vaginal flora, which helps to reduce the chances of getting a UTI,” says Tania.
And can treatments be combined?
Everything in our clinic is suited to the individual’s needs, meaning your gynaecologist will assess your situation before discussing treatment plans with you.
“I do combine treatments for the best outcome. I may do one Radiofrequency treatment and two MonaLisa Touch treatments, for example. It really depends on the needs of the patients. It’s a very bespoke, tailored approach,” says Miss Tania Adib.
Are there lifestyle changes I can make to help prevent UTIs?
“I give advice on reducing alcohol and caffeine as these can be bladder irritants. I can also give exercise tips on how to maintain the health of the pelvic floor. And I might work with a physiotherapist if I feel a woman with a weak pelvic floor would benefit.”
Are oestrogen creams effective in helping to prevent UTIs?
Many women are prescribed oestrogen creams, as a way of re-establishing the hormone through the vagina.
“Vaginal creams can be messy and inconvenient. Some women don’t enjoy putting products into their vagina. That’s why, over time, compliance rates are lower than 50%.”
Treatments such as MonaLisa Touch and Radiofrequency are ideal if you don’t want to have to add anything to your daily routine. Just three treatments at three to four weekly intervals can make a significant difference at improving the negative impact of menopausal symptoms.
“I’ve treated women who have between 8 and 10 UTIs every year, and after MonaLisa Touch laser treatment course they’re having maybe one or two infections a year,” says Miss Tania Adib.
I’d like to find out more about managing recurring UTIs
Miss Tania Adib offers both MonaLisa Touch therapy and Radiofrequency Therapy, while Mr Pandelis Athanasias offers MonaLisa Touch therapy. To find out more or make an appointment, please call 020 7244 4200 or make an appointment online.