A Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is an infection that can occur in any part of your urinary system, such as your kidneys, bladder, and ureters. According to statistics, women hold a greater risk of getting a UTI as opposed to men. When the infection is in your bladder, it can result in irritability. However, if it spreads to your kidneys, it is said to be dangerous.
- A strong need to urinate
- Feeling a burning sensation while passing urine
- Frequently passing little amount of urine
- Urine that looks slightly cloudy
- A sign of blood within the urine
- A strong smell in the urine
- Pelvic pain in the pelvic area for women
UTIs usually occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract and start to multiply within the bladder. Despite the urinary system being designed in such a way that it mostly keeps bacteria out, sometimes it is unable to. In the case this occurs, the bacteria can become an infection. Some of them include:
- Bladder infection (cystitis) occurs due to Escherichia oil, a type of bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract. Sexual intercourse can also be a reason for this type of infection. Most women are at risk of this due to their anatomy, with the urethra being close to the anus and the urethra opening up to the bladder.
- Urethra infection (urethritis) occurs when the bacteria has spread from the anus to the urethra—sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes and chlamydia.
- Female anatomy: a female’s urethra is shorter than a male’s, and hence it shortens the bacteria’s pathway to the bladder
- Sexual activity: sexually active females are more likely to get UTIs as opposed to those women who are not sexually active. Becoming sexually involved with a new partner also heightens the risk of getting a UTI.
- Different types of birth control: females who utilize diaphragms and spermicidal agents are more likely to get a UTI than those who do not use them
- Menopause: once menopause begins, a reduction in circulating estrogen causes a difference to occur in the urinary tract that makes you more prone to a UTI
- A weak immune system: having preexisting diseases such as diabetes can cause your immune system to become weak, resulting in your defense mechanisms becoming weaker hence becoming more prone to a UTI.
- Using catheter: individuals who use a tube (catheter) to urinate instead of those who do not. These can include people who have been hospitalized, individuals with neurological issues causing them to have an inability to urinate, and people who are paralyzed.
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