what causes a UTI?
many factors can contribute to getting frequent UTIs
- Sex is the most common cause of UTIs in sexually active women. Bacteria are always present and intercourse naturally brings it into contact with a woman’s urethra. A UTI is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and is not contagious. However, you can pass the bacteria that causes a urinary tract infection between partners.
- Urinary tract infections tend to be more common as women age. As estrogen levels drop, the elasticity and lining of the bladder changes, increasing the risk of UTIs. The weakening of the pelvic muscles along with activities such as exercise, coughing and laughing can put pressure on the bladder and cause small amounts of urine to leak. This also increases the risk for infection.
- birth control
- Using a diaphragm and some spermicidal agents have been shown to contribute to a higher incidence of UTIs.
- Changes due to pregnancy cause an expanded urinary tract, along with increased bladder volume and decreased bladder tone. This can reduce the flow of urine and increase the risks of a UTI.
- Obstructions in the urinary tract such as kidney stones increase the chances of a UTI. In men, an enlarged prostate may impede the flow of urine and increase the risk as well.
- medical conditions
- Disorders and diseases that weaken the immune system, like diabetes and cancer, raise the risk of UTIs by lowering the natural resistance to infection. Some people with diabetes have trouble emptying their bladders when they urinate. When urine stays in the bladder it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.
- catheter use
- People who have catheters placed for diseases or surgical procedures are also at risk despite extraordinary sanitation procedures employed during catheter placement and maintenance.
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