You might have heard of it – or maybe even had one in the past, a urinary tract infection, also known as a UTI, is a very common infection, especially for women. About 8.1 million people suffer from a UTI each year. 1 in 4 American women is likely to get a UTI once in their life and of these women, another 25% have a chance of getting multiple bladder infections. This doesn’t mean men don’t get them. In fact, UTI symptoms are often way worse in men than in women. What is the cause of a UTI? What symptoms can you recognize a UTI from? And when to see your doctor for treatment? These are questions that are important to know the answers to because walking through with a UTI can cause serious damage to your body. These include kidney damage, kidney failure, renal pelvic inflammation, etc.
What Is a UTI?
Before we tell you what possible causes of urinary tract infections are, and if there is any way to prevent a UTI from happening, it’s good to know what a UTI is. UTI is an umbrella term for infections in any part of the urinary system, which is caused by bacteria that travel from the great intestine or the genital opening to the bladder or kidney. Most of the time your body is able to defend itself from these bacteria, but on some occasions – such as poor immunity or hygiene – it cannot and some part of the urinary part gets infected. This can be the bladder, kidneys, ureters, and urethra. Most of the time, an infection in the urinary system is a bladder infection. So in most cases, if someone tells you he or she has a UTI, they mean a bladder infection.
Causes Of a UTI
There are several causes of a urinary tract infection, and some of these causes are within our control. So make sure you remember the causes and reduce your chances of getting a bladder infection – or UTI.
- Incorrect wiping; ladies always wipe from front to back, not the other way around!
- Disease; various conditions, like diabetes, kidney stones, enlarged prostates, and spinal cord injuries, increase the risk of getting a UTI
- Sexual intercourse; during the act, various bacteria, such as vaginal discharge, semen, and lubricants can enter the urinary system and cause overgrowth and infection. So ladies make sure to always shower after having intercourse.
- Clothing; wearing tight panties and jeans can suffocate the genital area, which can lead to a bladder infection. Make sure your genitals can breathe!
- Not drinking enough water; frequent urination ensures that harmful bacteria leave the urinary tract quickly and have no time to settle.
- Contraception; some types of contraception – like diaphragms – can increase the risk of having a UTI
- Menopause; decreased estrogen levels may increase the risk of having a UTI
- Cather use; insertion of the catheter or prolonged presence may cause a urinary tract infection
- Weak immune system; when your immune system is weak you are more prone to bacterial overgrowth. Make sure to eat plenty of vitamins and probiotics
Read on to the next page and find out what the symptoms of urinary tract infection are and if you suspect you are suffering from this what possible next steps are.