Urinary tract infections, and why are they common in women?

Urinary Tract Infection in Women - Harvard Health

The urinary tract refers to ureters, urinary bladder, kidneys and urethra. Infection of any of these parts of the urinary tract is called a urinary tract infection. Women are more prone to urinary tract infections as compared to men. 

The signs and symptoms of urinary tract infections are burning sensation when you pee, cloudy dark urine, a strange smell in the urine, urge to pee frequently, pain or pressure in the lower abdomen or back, fever or chills. If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, you must visit a urologist in Lahore. These symptoms need urgent attention. Prolonging these symptoms can lead to infections of the kidney, that is dangerous for your health. 

Why are urinary tract infections common in women?

Shorter urethra 

Women are 14 times more prone to urinary tract infections as compared to men. Moreover, females have a shorter urethra as compared to men, due to which bacteria can pass in a relatively easy way to the urinary bladder from the urethra. 

Sexual intercourse and contraception 

Also, sexual intercourse can play a role in the transmission of bacteria upwards to the bladder. The contraceptive diaphragms may also play a role in promoting urinary tract infections. This kind of contraception methods alter the natural bacterial environment of the urethra, thereby increasing the chances of bacterial growth in the urethra, that can eventually go upwards to the bladder. 

Using spermicide 

Many women use spermicide- a substance that kills sperm during sexual intercourse as a contraception method. These spermicides may kill the natural bacteria of the urethra, eventually making it easier for bacteria to colonize. 

Pregnancy 

Pregnant women are more prone to urinary tract infections because of hormonal change. Furthermore, they cannot empty their bladder completely because the womb exerts pressure on the urinary bladder. The urine left in the bladder can become a hub for bacterial growth. Pregnant women are more prone to kidney stones and pyelonephritis. 

Menopause 

Women who have gone through menopause are prone to urinary tract infections. It happens because the estrogen levels in their body decrease after menopause, leading to thinning of the vaginal tissues. Due to which, bacteria can easily pass through the urethra, eventually causing urinary tract infection. 

Diabetes 

Diabetes lowers your immune defence and makes you prone to infections. Also, it can cause nerve damage, making it harder to empty the bladder completely. Both of these things play a role in promoting the growth of bacteria in the urinary tract. 

Kidney stone 

A kidney stone can obstruct urine. Therefore your urine may stay between your kidneys and bladder, leading to life-threatening urinary tract infections. This condition can be extremely painful for the patient and needs medical attention. If you ever see blood in your urine or feel pain in the kidney or back, you must see your healthcare professional soon. 

Conclusion 

Women are always asked to wipe from front to back instead of back to front because their anus is close to the urethra. Their anus contains E.Coli- a bacteria beneficial for the digestion, present in the large intestine. Wiping from back to front can contaminate the urethra with this bacteria. It can grow there, eventually causing a urinary tract infection. So, try to avoid wiping from back to front. Instead, wipe from front to back. E. Coli is the most common cause of urinary tract infections because of improper wiping technique. 

Do not ignore the signs and symptoms of urinary tract infection lightly. Prolonging them can cause a serious infection. If you are suffering from any of the above-mentioned symptoms, you must visit a top urologist in Lahore