Urinary tract infection (UTI) affects the urinary system, which comprises the kidneys and ureters (the upper tract) and bladder and urethra (the lower tract). It is among the most prevalent infections in humans. Bacteria are the leading cause of UTIs, but viruses and fungi can cause UTIs, albeit in rare cases.
Usually, there are no microorganisms in the urine, which comes from the kidneys’ filtering system as a byproduct. Urine is produced when the kidneys filter waste materials and extra water out of the blood. Typically, no contamination occurs while it passes through the urinary system.
However, bacteria from the body can enter the urinary system and cause issues, including infection and inflammation, leading to urinary tract infections. Most UTIs only affect the bladder and urethra, although ureters and kidneys may also be affected. Despite being less common than lower tract UTIs, upper tract UTIs are typically more serious.
Generally, women are more prone than men to get a UTI. Because women’s urethras are shorter than men’s, bacteria can enter the bladder more easily, putting them at a higher risk.
Below are frequent UTI causes.
Escherichia coli (E. coli), which usually inhabits the colon, is the most common bacteria to cause UTIs. Although other bacteria like proteus, staphylococcus, enterococcus, pseudomonas, and klebsiella, might cause UTIs, E. coli is generally responsible 90 percent of the time.
Women are more likely to get UTIs than males because E. coli can grow in the anus, where the urethra is closely located. Additionally, because it is shorter than a man’s, the bacteria have better access to the urinary tract and bladder, which is where most UTIs develop.
The stool is a common way for bacteria to enter the urinary tract. But E. coli can also enter the urinary tract through many routes, such as inappropriate wiping after using the restroom, intercourse, birth control, and pregnancy.
Meanwhile, the sexually transmitted pathogens ureaplasma, mycoplasma, and Chlamydia trachomatis have been related to certain urinary infections in men and women. The parasite trichomonas may also bring on similar symptoms.