Health Library

Risk Factors for Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

A risk factor is something that raises the chances of getting a health problem. A person can get a UTI with or without the ones listed below. The chances of getting one is greater in people who have many.

Things that can raise the risk are:

Age and Gender

This problem more common in women. This is because bacteria sometimes enters the urinary system after passing stool and not wiping from front to back. The risk of getting an infection goes up even more after menopause in women and after age 50 in men.

Genetics

UTIs are more common in people who have others in their family who have had them. The link is strongest among first relatives.

Sexual Activity

Sex raises the risk of a UTI. A person's chances of getting an infection are even higher if they have had a new partner within the past year. Using spermicide can also raise the risk in women.

Health Problems

The risk of a UTI is higher in people with:

Medications

Taking certain medicines can raise the risk of getting an infection, such as:

  • Antibiotics
  • SGLT2 inhibitors

References

Bladder infection (urinary tract infection)—UTI) in adults. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/bladder-infection-uti-in-adults. Accessed March 30, 2022.

Introduction to urinary tract infections (UTIs). Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary-disorders/urinary-tract-infections-utis/introduction-to-urinary-tract-infections-utis. Accessed March 30, 2022.

Uncomplicated urinary tract infection (UTI) (pyelonephritis and cystitis). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/uncomplicated-urinary-tract-infection-uti-pyelonephritis-and-cystitis. Accessed March 30, 2022.

Urinary tract infections in adults. Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: https://www.urologyhealth.org/urology-a-z/u/urinary-tract-infections-in-adults. Accessed March 30, 2022.