The urinary tract is the body's filtering system for removal of liquid wastes.
Women are especially susceptible to bacteria which may invade the urinary tract
and multiply resulting in infection.
Although most urinary tract infections (UTI) are not serious, they are painful.
Approximately fity percent of all women will have at least one UTI in her
lifetime with many women having several infections throughout their lifetime.
Fortunately, these infections are easily treated with antibiotics that cause
the symptoms to quickly disappear. Some women seem are more prone to repeated
infections than others and for them it can be a
Causes of Urinary Tract Infections:
The most common cause of UTI is bacteria from the bowel that lives on the skin
near the rectum or in the vagina which can spread and enter the urinary tract
through the urethra.
Once bacteria enters the urethra it travels upward causing infection in the
bladder and sometimes other parts of the urinary tract.
Sexual intercourse is a common cause of urinary tract infections because the
female anatomy can make women more prone to urinary tract infections. During
sexual intercourse bacteria in the vaginal area is sometimes massaged into the
urethra by the motion of the penis.
Women who change sexual partners or begin having sexual intercourse more
frequently may experience bladder or urinary tract infections more often than
women in monogomus relationships. Although it is rare, some women get a urinary
tract infection every time they have sex.
Another cause of bladder infections or UTI is waiting too long to urinate. The
bladder is a muscle that stretches to hold urine and contracts when the urine
is released. Waiting very long past the time you first feel the need to urinate
causes the bladder to stretch beyond its capacity which over time can weaken
the bladder muscle. When the bladder is weakened it may not empty completely
and some urine is left in the bladder which may increase the risk of urinary
tract infection or bladder infection.
Other factors may also increase a woman's risk of developing UTI including
pregnancy, having urinary tract infections or bladder infections as a child,
having past menopause, and diabetes.