Sexual Intercourse and Risk of Symptomatic Urinary Tract Infection in Post-Menopausal Women
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Moore, E.E., Hawes, S.E., Scholes, D. et al. J GEN INTERN MED (2008) 23: 595. doi:10.1007/s11606-008-0535-y
- 92 Downloads
Sexual intercourse increases the risk of symptomatic urinary tract infections (UTI) in young women, but its role among post-menopausal women is unclear.
To determine whether recent sexual intercourse, as documented by daily diaries, is associated with an increased risk of symptomatic UTI in post-menopausal women.
A 2-year prospective cohort study conducted from 1998 to 2002.
One thousand and seventeen randomly selected post-menopausal women enrolled at Group Health Cooperative (GHC), a Washington State HMO.
Measurements and Main Results
Women were asked to enter daily diary information on vaginal intercourse, medication use, and genito-urinary symptoms. The outcome of interest, symptomatic UTI, was defined as a positive urine culture ≥105 CFU/mL of a uropathogen and the presence of ≥2 acute urinary symptoms. Nine hundred thirteen women returned diaries and were included in this study. Seventy-eight women experienced 108 symptomatic UTIs, and 361 (40%) reported sexual intercourse in their diaries. There was an increased hazard for UTI 2 calendar days after the reporting of sexual intercourse in the diaries (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 3.42, 95% CI 1.49–7.80), while there was no evidence for an increased hazard associated with intercourse at other times. When the UTI criterion was relaxed from ≥105 CFU/mL to ≥104 CFU/mL, adding 9 UTI events to the analysis, the HR for UTI 2 days after intercourse changed slightly to 3.26 (95% CI 1.43–7.43).
Our data suggest that, as with younger women, recent sexual intercourse is strongly associated with incident UTI in generally healthy post-menopausal women.