What causes a urinary tract infection? See the 5 most common reasons and if it is transmissible
Severe burning while urinating, feeling of heaviness in the belly and frequent need to urinate are some of the classic symptoms of the problem.
Urinary tract infection can be caused by several factors and manifest itself in different ways, depending on the type and structure of the urinary system. Usually, it comes from alterations in the balance of the microbiota of the genital region — promoting the proliferation of the microorganisms that cause the infection and cause the classic symptoms, such as pain or burning when urinating and frequent need to urinate.
Although microorganisms are naturally present in the body, the balance can be disturbed due to some factors such as incorrect intimate hygiene, inadequate water consumption And pre-existing problems, such as kidney stones. Several bacteria can cause urinary tract infections, but Escherichia coli is usually the culprit.
According to Rodrigo Wilson Andrade, a urologist at the Albert Sabin hospital in São Paulo, the patient should seek medical attention whenever he feels discomfort or pain and start appropriate treatment with antibiotics or antifungal drugs. The medical indication may vary depending on the responsible bacteria.
Read more: Urinary Tract Infection Remedies: Check out the 10 most used options
What causes a urinary tract infection?
UTIs can be caused by many factors, from lifestyle habits to pre-existing diseases. Most are related to problems affecting the body’s defenses, facilitating the entry and/or proliferation of bacteria that cause infections. Check out the most common causes:
1. Inadequate hygiene
One of the most common causes of urinary tract infection in women is inadequate hygiene of the intimate area. When you wipe the area after urinating, pay attention to the movement you are using. The correct way is to gently pass the paper from front to back, avoiding getting the bacteria that are in the butt area to enter.
Read more: What’s the right way to wash your vagina and what NOT to do
Although it is more common in women, improper hygiene can also be a cause of infection in men, especially during the shower, when the buttock area is cleaned before the penis.
2. Withhold urine
The act of urinating is one of the body’s defense systems, as it allows the elimination of liquids and toxins from the body – plus most of the bacteria that may have entered the bladder. In this context, holding urine prevents this cleaning process from taking place, which facilitates the proliferation of microorganisms and the development of urinary infections.
Also, when the habit of holding urine becomes part of your routine, there are long-term risks. “Over the years, this habit causes deterioration of the muscles of the bladder, perineum, pelvis, pelvic muscles and, over time, leads to difficulty urinating, recurring urinary infections, overactive bladder and urinary incontinence,” explained the urologist Rafael Buta in a previous interview with MinhaVida.
3. Drink little water
In addition to retaining urine, the habit of drinking little water can also cause many damages to health, above all favoring the development of fungi and bacteria in the urethra and bladder. This is because the body cannot produce enough urine to use the toilet during the day, allowing bacteria to continue moving up to the bladder. It is recommended to consume at least two liters of water a day.
4. Having kidney stones
Patients with kidney stones may develop a urinary tract infection more often, as the kidney stone can move and cause the urinary tract to become obstructed, blocking the flow of urine. When this happens, the bacteria growing in the bladder is more likely to thrive.
5. Prolonged use of tampons
During menstruation, the body eliminates various residues that can facilitate the development of the microorganism. For people who use tampons or panty linersWhile they’re useful for maintaining hygiene during your period, when they get dirty they can encourage the growth of bacteria that can travel to your urinary system – causing urinary tract infections.
Is urinary tract infection transmissible?
THE urinary tract infection is not transmissible, as the contamination is caused by bacteria that already live naturally in the body. Thus, the painting is not transmitted during sexual intercourse or using public toilets, for example. However, the sexual act can facilitate its development due to contact with sex toys, latex condoms and other objects, which can alter the vaginal flora and facilitate the multiplication of the responsible bacteria.
Who is most at risk of having a urinary tract infection?
In addition to the main causes, there are several factors that increase the risk of urinary tract infection. Have one weakened immune system (because of cancer treatment, for example), bladder problems that prevent proper emptying or presence of bloodstream infection are some of the aspects that increase the chances of developing the problem.
Furthermore, the incidence of urinary tract infection is quite common during pregnancy, due to physiological changes that favor colonization of the urinary tract. Metabolic and endocrine changes, as well as other vaginal infections, may also be risk factors.
“A pregnant woman is a particular situation, in which your immunity is somewhat compromised, which facilitates infections, masks the symptoms and which can lead to potentially serious infections,” explained Lilian Fiorelli, a gynecologist specializing in female sexuality and urogynecology. at the University of São Paulo (USP), in a previous interview with MinhaVida.
In the case of men, urinary tract infection is more frequent when there are problems with prostate growth. This is because it puts pressure on the bladder and prevents urine from being passed out.
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