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6 Causes of UTI That You May Not Be Aware Of

6 Causes of UTI That You May Not Be Aware Of

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the worst. Between the burning, pain, and frequent urge to urinate, the signs and symptoms of UTIs are miserable. Certain factors increase your risk of developing a urinary tract infection, but some of them may surprise you. Here are a few reasons that UTIs can develop and how to prevent them in the first place.

1. Holding in urine

Holding it for a long time allows urine to sit in your bladder, where bacteria can grow. Incomplete emptying of the bladder can also lead to UTIs.

UTIs usually develop when bacteria enter your urinary tract and multiply in your bladder. Mayo Clinic names one type of bacteria, E. coli, as the most common cause of bacterial UTIs. Emptying your bladder frequently and completely reduces your risk of UTIs.

2. Going through menopause

Estrogen levels drop as women go through perimenopause and menopause. Lower levels of this hormone can lead to thinning of the tissues in the vagina and bladder, and these thinner tissues can allow bacteria to cross into the bladder. The bladder also loses its volume and elasticity with age, which can prevent complete emptying of the bladder.

3. Having diabetes

People with diabetes are more likely to have UTIs, according to Diabetes Self-Management. Diabetes is a condition characterized by high blood sugar levels. Bacteria, like E. coli, thrive on sugar. Diabetes can also cause poor circulation, which prevents white blood cells from reaching the bladder to fight off infection there. Finally, diabetes can cause changes to the body that prevent complete emptying of the bladder.

4. Wiping the wrong way

E. coli normally live in the gastrointestinal tract. Wiping from back to front transfers any E. coli in your stool towards the opening to your urinary tract, increasing your risk of UTI.

5. Constipation or diarrhea

Constipation can cause stool to move slowly through your colon. Slow-moving stool is a great place for E. coli bacteria to flourish. Furthermore, the pressure from constipation can prevent you from emptying your bladder completely.

Diarrhea or loose stools are also hidden risk factors for UTIs. The bacteria in loose stools can easily make their way into the urinary tract.

6. Not drinking enough water

Drinking plenty of water increases the amount of urine your body produces, which causes you to urinate more often. This flushes the bacteria out of your bladder before E. coli has a chance to settle in and grow.

If you suspect you have a UTI, you can visit one of our urgent care clinics–no appointment needed or schedule a visit from home using Telemedicine.

If you have reoccurring or persistent UTIs, contact an Ogden Clinic urologist to learn about progressive treatment options.