The urinary tract includes the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are far more common in women than men. Urinary tract infections have different names depending on which part of the urinary tract is infected.
- infection of the bladder is cystitis
- infection of the urethra is urethritis
- infection of the kidney is pyelonephritis
Among newborns, UTIs are more common in boys, but by one year of age, they are ten times more likely to occur in girls. The rate of infection is higher for sexually active women – between 16 and 35 years old – than for men.
As many as 50% to 60% of North American women have had at least one UTI in their lifetime. Among seniors, the gender difference in infection rates diminishes, but rates of infection in seniors living at home or in care facilities or hospitals remains high.