General Health

Why Are Urinary Tract Infections More Common In The Older Adults?

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on - 08 February 2023, Updated on - 11 March 2023

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As we age, our bodies also change in several ways. With a significant decline in immune function, people in their old age tend to experience frequent infections such as urinary tract infections (UTIs). UTI is one of the most common infections reported in old age. Let's explore the reasons why older adults are prone to get this infection and what are the warning signs.

Causes of Urinary Tract Infection in Adults

Urinary tract infections are more common in older women as the lining of the vaginal wall gets thin, dry, and inflamed after menopause. Furthermore, prolapse of the womb or uterus can also be a potential reason for recurring UTIs.

On the other hand, UTIs in older men could be due to an enlarged prostate gland that may hinder the complete emptying of the bladder. This leads to the retention of urine, which offers an environment for bacteria to multiply.

Other causes of urinary tract infections in both women and men include:

  • Weakened muscles of the bladder and pelvic floor
  • Kidney or bladder problems
  • Kidney stones
  • Poor immune system
  • Constipation

Symptoms of UTI in Older Adults

Some of the symptoms observed in older adults with UTI include:

  • Sudden and frequent urge to urinate
  • Discomfort, pain, or burning sensation during urination
  • Strong-smelling cloudy urine, which may often contain blood
  • A sensation of not emptying the bladder fully
  • A feeling of tiredness
  • High Fever
  • Confusion, agitation, or restlessness
  • Back pain
  • Worsening abdominal pain
  • Chills
  • Nausea

When to See a Doctor?

One should consult a doctor immediately if they experience any UTI symptoms as delay may result in permanent damage and failure of the kidneys, kidney infection (pyelonephritis), and blood poisoning (sepsis). To diagnose the condition, the doctor would recommend a urine test with or without an ultrasound to check if the infection has spread to the kidneys.


1. How does an older man get a urinary tract infection?

Most UTIs in older men occur due to the restricted flow of urine owing to an enlarged prostate gland commonly seen in older men.

2. Are there any home remedies for urinary tract infections in older adults?

Drinking more water (3-4 glasses of water), wearing loose-fitting clothes and cotton undergarments, maintaining the cleanliness of the genital area, and avoiding the use of perfumed products in private areas are some methods to prevent urinary tract infection. However, once the infection has occurred medical assistance would be required.

3. Does stress and confusion in old age play any role in UTIs?

There is no direct association between stress and UTIs. However, stress, in general, may hamper the functioning of your immune system, making you more prone to get UTIs.

4. Which medicines are prescribed to older adults for treating urinary tract infections?

Antibiotics are often given to older adults to treat urinary tract infections.

5. Can high blood sugar during old age cause urinary tract infections?

If you have diabetes, you are more likely to get a urinary tract infection due to nerve damage or a weakened immune system. Moreover, the risk is higher for older women with type 2 diabetes.

Consult An Apollo Urologist


Medically reviewed by Dr Sonia Bhatt.

General Health

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