Risk Factors. Many women suffer from a UTI during their life, making gender the number one risk factor when it comes to a urinary tract infection. The anatomically shorter urethra is the number one reason. Sexual activity also increases the chances for a UTI. This is especially true when considering new sexual partners and being unaware of their sexual past. The potential for sexually transmitted infections in such partners can greatly increase the risk of urinary infection. Women are more vulnerable to a UTI after menopause. After menopause, the changes in estrogen levels make it more likely to get one. This also suggests that women with reduced estrogen production are at risk. Birth control methods can be risk factors as well. Both spermicidal agents and diaphragms can increase the risk of a UTI.