What Causes a Urinary Tract Infection?


Quick Answer

According to Mayo Clinic, a urinary tract infection generally develops when bacteria enter the urinary tract and begin multiplying. The most common urinary tract infections are cystitis, which affects the bladder, and urethritis, which affects the urethra.

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What Causes a Urinary Tract Infection?
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Full Answer

According to MedlinePlus, urinary tract infections are the second most common type of infection that develop in the body. Symptoms of the infection include burning or pain during urination, an urge to urinate often, pressure in the lower belly, foul-smelling urine, back pain below the ribs, tiredness or shakiness, fever and urine that looks reddish or cloudy. A urinary tract infection is more likely to occur in women than men, and it affects people of all ages.

Because of a woman's anatomy, all women are at risk of developing a urinary tract infection. Mayo Clinic notes that the short distance from the urethra to the anus and bladder opening causes this risk. The infection can also develop when bacteria from the GI tract spreads to the urethra from the anus. Sexually transmitted diseases can also cause urinary tract infections.

Anyone who suspects a urinary tract infection is present should seek medical attention, notes MedlinePlus. Doctors conduct a urine test to determine if a patient has the infection, and it is treated with antibiotics.

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