Estrogen may prevent urinary tract infections, according to a recent study from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. Women in the study were given vaginal estrogen for two weeks. Estrogen caused cellular changes with the urothelium, which is a layer of tissue that lines the bladder and much of the urinary system. The extra estrogen caused a reaction that appears to prevent bacteria from reaching deeper layers of the urinary tract where bacteria can hide and reside, and create a bank for recurrent infections. Specifically, estrogen revved up production of the body’s own antibiotics called antimicrobial peptides and strengthened the cells in the urinary tract.
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