Recognized to be one among the most commonl acquired ailments, UTI is more prevalent among women than men. Urinary tract infectioncan cause discomfort and annoy you all day and night. This is a common bacterial infection that affects the entire urinary system.
This infection is caused when bacteria enter your urethra. After entry, bacterial colonies grow and multiply and gain entry into your bladder and later kidneys. When you are affected with urinary tract infection, a pain or burning sensation when you urinate is a characteristic symptom. The other signs of infection include cloudy urine, increased urge to urinate with limited generation of urine, smelly urine and mild pain in the lower stomach. Some women may also have nausea and chills.
The Causes of Urinary Tract Infection
A threat to a possible infection arises due to bacteria from the bowel that colonise the skin near rectum and vagina or bacterium from the environment, which can gain entry through the vagina. The bacterial strains that can cause infection in the urinary tract include E.coli, Staphylococcus, Klebsiella and Enterococci. The common causes of UTI are listed below.
The most common cause of urinary tract infection in women is sexual intercourse. The female anatomy is such that women are more prone to infections during an intercourse. During an intercourse, bacteria from the vagina gain easy access into the urethra. Infection can also be caused by bacteria from your partner’s organs. A thorough wash before and after an intercourse can help prevent infection.
Bacteria grow and multiply quicker in a moist environment. Irregular showers and infrequent change of under garments may provide favourable conditions for bacterial growth. UTI is common in women who maintain poor hygiene.
Holding Back Urine
Holding back urine for long hours even after you feel the urge to urinate can stretch the bladder muscles beyond its limit. With frequent stretching, the bladder becomes weak. The weakened bladder cannot empty all the urine and few droplets are left behind even after urination. This can make an individual prone to infections in the urinary tract and bladder.
When your immunity is weak, you are more susceptible to infections. Your body’s defence system cannot fight bacteria when it is weak. People with suppressed immunity are also exposed to infections of the urinary tract. HIV patients, people who have undergone a transplant and women subjected to chemotherapy have suppressed immunity and are exposed to the risk of UTI.
Bladder decompensation is common after menopause and it increases the risk of infections in the urinary tract. This is a condition in which urine is retained within the bladder because the bladder loses its contractile function.
Birth Control Devices
Women who use intra uterine birth control devices are prone to urinary tract infections. Devices such as diaphragm and copper IUD increase the risk of urinary tract infections.
Women who use spermicide for contraception also complain of frequent infections in the urinary tract.
During pregnancy high progesterone levels can decrease the muscle strength in bladder and ureter. This might cause urine reflux, a condition in which the urine flows back into the ureter. This urine reflux is responsible for urinary tract infections in pregnant women.
Women are more susceptible to urinary tract infections than men because women have a short urinary tract when compared to men. This makes it easier for bacteria to move into the organs of the urinary system. These infections may be disturbing, but they are not fatal and can be treated with the right course of antibiotics.
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