A urinary tract infection can occur at different points in the urinary tract including bladder, kidney, uterus and urethra. The key to avoiding UTI’s is to drink plenty of fluids and make sure you urinate upon having intercourse.
Urinary Tract Infections are usually caused by gastrointestinal bacteria such as from stool that enters the urethra and travels into the bladder or kidneys. That is why we are encouraged to wipe from front to back. A UTI can also be caused by sexual intercourse. During sex, your urethra comes in contact with bacteria from the genital area and anus which can also infect your urinary tract.
Your body is equipped to defend against germs and bacteria, but sometimes the bacteria multiplies faster than our body’s defense system can fight them which causes a urinary tract infection.
Before you can understand what a urinary tract infection is, you must first understand the urinary tract itself.
Your Urinary Tract is Made Up of Four Parts
- Bladder – Your bladder holds the urine until you go to the bathroom
- Kidneys – Your kidneys work around the clock processing and filtering waste and excess water from your blood – Excess waste and water then becomes urine
- Ureters – Are the tubes that take the urine from your kidneys to your bladder
- Urethra – The duct carries urine from your bladder to the genitals leaving the body
Ladies you get the short end of the stick here because you are 10 times more likely to get urinary tract infections than men. You can blame it on your anatomy, specifically the length and location of your urethra. A woman’s urethra is much shorter than a man’s urethra and is located in close proximity to the anus which makes it easier from bacteria to enter your urinary tract.
Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms
- Cloudy urine or blood in urine
- Feeling like you need to urinate but can’t
- Urinating small amounts
- Foul-smelling urine
- Pain on one side of your back
- Pain under your ribs
- Painful urination
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms a trip to see a Gynecologist can fix you right up. Increase your fluids immediately and schedule an appointment with your Gynecologist. Urinary tract infections are usually quite harmless especially when they are treated promptly with antibiotics to kill the bacteria. Ideally you want to kill the bacteria living in your urinary tract before it reaches the kidneys where it can do permanent damage.
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