Urinary Tract Infection is the infection of any of the four parts of the urinary tract system in the body which includes kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Generally, the infection occurs in the lower urinary tract of a woman which includes bladder and urethra.
Women are more susceptible to UTI than men because women have a shorter urinary tract than men which gives bacteria, living in the bowels and skin of the rectum, a chance to quickly enter into the urethra and multiply in the urinary tract. The good news about UTIs is that they can be easily treated with antibiotics.
Generally, one of the main causes of Urinary Tract Infection, E. coli is the name of the bacteria which is commonly responsible for UTI although sometimes other bacteria and parasites also cause UTI among women. UTIs generally affect the bladder and urethra of women.
Causes of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Among Women
Sexual activity is one of the common causes of UTI among women. Sometimes, during intercourse, bacteria present in the vagina get massaged into urethra where they thrive quickly and reach the bladder of a woman. This causes infection of the bladder and is known as cystitis.
Holding Urine for Long Intervals
When we hold our urine for long hours the bladder stretches for long time beyond its capacity and the muscles of the bladder tend to become weak. When the bladder muscles become weak, they do not eject entire urine from the bladder and hence some urine is left in the bladder. This increases the chances of acquiring urinary tract infection.
Pregnancy increases the risk of acquiring infection of kidneys because pregnancy induces higher levels of progesterone in body which in turn, reduces the muscle tone of ureters.
This causes them to dilate and slows the flow of urine. This increases the risk of acquiring infection. Besides, growing uterus creates a pressure on ureters, making the flow of urine slow and obstructed. This gives bacteria more time to multiply and cause infection.
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At the time of menopause, when estrogen production dips down, the protective layer on bladder which keeps bacteria away also gets affected. This gives bacteria a chance to adhere to bladder and multiply easily. Besides, menopausal women sometimes experience drooped bladder which droops into vagina of a woman. This condition is known as cystocele. Cystocele can make the walls of the bladder weak which further cannot empty urine entirely, giving bacteria a perfect ground to breed and cause infection.
Diabetes affects multiple systems of the body adversely. Urinary tract system is one of them. Diabetes affects blood circulation of body and poor circulation makes it difficult for white blood cells, the germ fighting cells of the body, to quickly reach at the desired place. Even when they reach at the site of infection, they are not efficient enough as they are in a non-diabetic person and hence cannot kill all the offending bacteria.
Besides, diabetic people generally have a weak bladder which contracts slowly. This gives way for the urine to remain in stagnant pools for longer periods of time, making a perfect bacteria breeding site. UTI generally responds well to antibiotics and get cured easily. However, UTI should not be ignored because severe infection can become fatal among women and can cause many irreparable damages.