Lower urinary tract flow infections involving a back flow of infected urine are usually the leading risk factor of kidney infection, according to Remedy Health Media. Women are more susceptible to kidney infection because the urethra is shorter in women than men.
Women using contraceptive methods such as diaphragms and spermicides are most likely to get kidney infection, because these methods carry bacteria, notes Remedy Health Media. People with cancer, HIV/AIDS or diabetes hold a greater risk of getting kidney infections. The elderly are also at a higher risk.
People with kidney stones or an enlarged prostate, making it more difficult to manage urine flow, are more at risk of kidney infection, explains Remedy Health Media. Those with a history of urinary tract infections have a higher likelihood of kidney infection. A spinal cord injury can cause kidney infection, even though the injury itself prevents the person from feeling the pain of a kidney infection. Birth defects in the urinary tract system are a known cause, as is a condition called vesicoureteral reflux, which forces the urine to back up into the kidneys.
Additionally, the opening of the rectum in women is closer to the anus, providing easier access for the bacteria to spread from the anus to the urethra, states Remedy Health Media.