Urinary tract infections have been a cause of chronic distress for generations of menopausal women. Campaigning journalist Kate Muir argues the problem could be halved if an alternative treatment to antibiotics is better understood. So why isn’t more being done?
Welcome to the Great UTI Scandal, a story of unnecessary suffering for millions, needless hospital admissions, antibiotic resistance, sepsis-related deaths and basic ignorance of the science around female bodies. Women are 30 times more likely to get a urinary tract infection than men, and UTIs are agonising and occasionally fatal. In the past five years, there were 1.8m hospital admissions involving UTIs in England alone, plus even more GP appointments. This is not just a gender health gap – it’s a dangerous crevasse. But is there another way?
“Killer UTIs! Kept getting them, doctors were dismissive and directing me to chemist treatments, so gave up with them. Got an infection that tracked to kidneys, rang doctors twice for help and was turned away. Ended up as emergency admission to hospital via blue lights ambulance and a week’s stay on IV antibiotics”: @staveleynatalie