We tried to determine whether women with a urinary tract infection (UTI) were more likely to have had a recent pelvic examination than were women seen for other reasons. We compared 56 women who were diagnosed as having a UTI with 49 controls who had an unrelated complaint (sinusitis). Significantly more women with UTIs had received a pelvic examination within the preceding 2 months (43% vs 16%, P = .01). We conclude that having a pelvic examination is associated with an increased risk of a UTI developing within the following 2 months. This may be due to physical factors related to the examination or to risk factors related to the patients' reasons for obtaining a pelvic examination. Further study is needed to determine if the pelvic examination is an independent risk factor. If so, established preventive measures could reduce this risk.