Hot flashes, night sweats and UTIs are common during menopause. But while the first two will go away, UTIs may continue to be a problem.

After menopause, a woman’s risk for bladder infections stays substantially higher. Why? During menopause, the level of estrogen plummets, causing changes in the urinary tract such as decreased bladder elasticity and changes to the bladder lining.

Also, bladder prolapse is more common after menopause. Prolapse happens when the front wall of the vagina is weakened – usually due to the stress of childbirth plus changes during menopause, repeated straining from heavy lifting or constipation. The weakened vaginal wall that normally helps keep the bladder in place lets the bladder prolapse (or drop) into the vagina. In this position, the bladder can’t empty completely and the bacteria that stay can multiply into a UTI. If you think you have a prolapsed bladder, see your doctor to determine the best course of action.