How Do You Get a Urinary Tract Infection?


Quick Answer

According to Mayo Clinic, urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract through the urethra and multiplying in the bladder. WebMD states that these germs are found in the large intestine and therefore carry into stool. Having sex increases the chance of the bacteria entering the urethra, especially for women who have shorter urethras.

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How Do You Get a Urinary Tract Infection?
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Full Answer

A person is more likely to contract a urinary tract infection when diabetes or pregnancy is a factor or if there is a situation that restricts the flow of urine from the bladder, such as kidney stones or an enlarged prostate gland. Mayo Clinic lists using diaphragms or spermicidal agents for birth control as possible causes of UTIs. Completing menopause also increases a woman's risk of developing a UTI because a decrease in estrogen causes the urinary tract to become more vulnerable to infection. Urinary tract abnormalities, a suppressed immune system and using a catheter are some other conditions that increase the likelihood that UTIs occur.

Mayo Clinic mentions that a cystitis UTI, or infection of the bladder, is caused by the Escherichia coli bacteria. The urethritis UTI is caused by gastrointestinal bacteria being spread from the anus to the urethra. According to WebMD, symptoms of a UTI include pain or burning during urination, feeling the need to urinate often, pain in lower belly, cloudy or pink urine, fever and chills, and nausea or vomiting.

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