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What does menopause have to do with more frequent bladder infections? You might be surprised to learn this, but a lot.
Having a career as a physician is satisfying in so many ways. One is that we are always learning new things: There are changes in the way we address old problems, there is new understanding about the causes of old problems, there are new solutions we can offer patients; the constant is that there is always change.
Recently I had the chance to participate in the Women’s Health Innovation Summit. This was a gathering of people who are passionate about new discoveries in women’s health, including experts in the field of women’s health, investors, and innovators. In the arena of innovation I became acquainted with a new product that is designed to solve an old problem.
About half of women will have at least one UTI in their lifetimes, and about 40 percent of those women will experience recurrences. Recurrent UTIs (urinary tract infections or bladder infections) can occur for women at any age, but women develop an increased risk for this in menopause. Why is this? The (near) absence of estrogen in menopause has a huge impact to the genitals and the lower urinary tract. This is the area of the body that has the greatest concentration of estrogen receptors, meaning estrogen has a huge impact to the health maintenance of the genitals. So it shouldn’t be surprising that the majority of postmenopausal women will develop GSM, the genitourinary syndrome of menopause, over time in menopause. The same mechanism (loss of estrogen) that causes vaginal dryness and painful intercourse will also put women at greater risk for UTIs. These more thin and dry tissues are less resilient at warding off bacteria from making their way on the outer skin, up the urethra, and into the bladder, resulting in infection.
Utiva is a brand that is designed to help prevent UTIs. Utiva UTI Control has concentrated 36mg cranberry PACs (proanthocyanidins), which is the clinically proven dosage that keeps bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall, allowing an infection to occur. Although all cranberry products have PACs, most actually contain very little when measured using a standard method. Utiva measures its 36mg of PACs by DMAC/A2, which is standard for professional brands. Taken daily, Utiva UTI Control can significantly reduce the chance of developing UTIs.
Why is this important? UTIs have a huge impact to women and their day-to-day quality of life regarding the discomfort, inconvenience, potential side effects of antibiotics, antibiotic resistance, an undiagnosed UTI leading to the risk of a kidney infection (pyelonephritis), and significant illness, to name a few. For those women who suffer from recurrent UTIs, this could be a game changer.
You can visit Utivahealth.com to learn more about their products.
To all of the innovators and investors I met during the Women’s Health Innovation Summit, thank you. Thank you for your commitment of expertise and resources to promote the health of women!
Dr. Barb DePree, M.D., has been a gynecologist and women’s health provider for almost 30 years and a menopause care specialist for the past ten.