1. Urinary tract infections result in nearly 10 million office visits, 1.5 million hospitalizations and $1 billion in health care costs, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Two-thirds of office visits for urinary tract infections are by women of childbearing age. One in every five women will have at least one urinary tract infection in her life, and some women will have more.
2. Nearly 20 percent of women who have one urinary tract infection will have another, and 30 percent of those who have had two will have a third. About 80 percent of those who have had three will have a fourth. Four out of five such women get another infection within 18 months of the last one.
3. Some women are more prone to the infection than others. Women at higher risk include those who are past menopause, who have diabetes, or who use a diaphragm. If your mother or sister had frequent urinary tract infections, you are more likely to have one. Recently, researchers found that women whose partners use a condom with spermicidal foam also tend to have growth of E. coli bacteria in the vagina.
4. About two to four percent of pregnant women develop a urinary tract infection. Although experts say that pregnant women are no more prone to the infection than other women, when pregnant women do have one, it is more likely to spread to the kidneys. Urinary tract infections during pregnancy needs prompt attention by a health care professional to avoid the risk of premature birth. Pregnant women may also have no symptoms associated with an infection.
5. Bacteria, called Escherichia coli (E. coli), that live in the digestive system and spread to the urinary tract, and staph saphrophyticus, cause most urinary tract infections.