Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when she stops having menstrual periods and can no longer get pregnant. It results from a decline in the production of the reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone.
Although some women sail through menopause with few or no discomforts, shifting hormone levels cause some women to experience a variety of symptoms. These can include vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, chronic urinary tract infections (UTIs), and changes in urinary habits.
If you’re coping with chronic menopause-related UTIs, our providers at Women’s Healthcare of Princeton can provide help that goes beyond just antibiotics. We offer a range of treatment options, including some new solutions that may surprise you.
Why UTIs occur
A urinary tract infection is an infection that occurs in any part of your urinary system, including your bladder, kidneys, ureters (the tubes between your kidneys and bladder), and urethra (the tube through which urine exits your bladder and leaves your body).
As estrogen production falls in menopausal women, UTIs can occur more frequently. There are several reasons for this.
As you age, your vaginal tissue thins, making it more prone to infection. You may also have trouble fully emptying your bladder, which can increase the chance of an infection in your bladder. And with less estrogen in your body, bacterial levels can change, allowing infection to set in.
Some menopausal women have occasional UTIs, but others experience chronic, frustrating UTIs that occur month after month after month and interfere with quality of life and sexual enjoyment.
Solutions for chronic UTIs
Antibiotics do an excellent job of clearing UTIs. But like most women, you probably don’t relish the idea of taking antibiotics frequently. And rather than just treat UTIs, you’d rather avoid getting them in the first place.
If you’re getting chronic menopause-related UTIs, the following solutions could help:
You can lower your risk of developing a UTI by making important lifestyle changes each day. For example, drinking plenty of water helps flush some harmful bacteria out of your urinary tract. Going to the bathroom whenever you get the urge and allowing your bladder to empty as fully as possible can also remove bacteria from your urinary tract.
In addition, some women find that drinking cranberry juice or taking daily cranberry supplements helps ward off UTIs.
Inserting estrogen directly into your vagina can restore hormone levels in your vagina. This helps prevent UTIs because vaginal estrogen supports the “good” bacteria that help keep “bad” infection-causing bacteria in check.
Vaginal estrogen is available as twice-weekly creams or tablets, or a vaginal ring that is replaced every three months.
MonaLisa Touch is a nonsurgical laser treatment specifically designed to rejuvenate the tissues that line your vaginal canal.
Many of our patients with chronic UTIs have benefited from treatment with MonaLisa Touch. This safe, effective, state-of-the-art laser treatment can bring new life to your vaginal tissues, which can in turn prevent chronic menopause-related UTIs from occurring.
Treatment with MonaLisa Touch is quick and painless, and it offers you a hormone-free, medication-free solution. As an added benefit, treatment with MonaLisa Touch can help make intercourse more enjoyable if vaginal atrophy has interfered with your sex life.
In addition to helping with chronic UTIs and painful intercourse, MonaLisa Touch can reduce vaginal dryness, burning, or itching, as well as the vaginal laxity that can occur in women after giving birth.
Help for all your menopause symptoms
At Women’s Healthcare of Princeton, we understand how hard it can be to cope with menopause-related symptoms. That’s why we offer a full range of treatment options, including complementary and alternative therapies as well as traditional medical options.
If you live in or around Princeton, New Jersey, and are tired of dealing with menopause symptoms such as chronic UTIs, call us for an appointment or book your visit online today.