The Urinary tract is part of the body responsible for filtering the blood and making urine. It consists of the Kidneys (filterer), Ureters (pipe), the Bladder (storage tank), and the Urethra (tap).
Urine infections are caused by bacteria which can affect any part of the urinary tract. However, infections most commonly affect the bladder.
Women are more likely than men to suffer from urine infections because of the differences in the short length of their Urethra (tap) which allows easy travel of bacteria from the outside to the inside of the body.
What are the symptoms of urine infection?
- Passing urine more frequently than normal
- Not being able to hold down the urine when you feel the urge
- Pain, burning or stinging sensation when passing urine
- Smelly urine and cloudy urine
- Lower abdominal pain
Why do I get recurrent urine infections?
Some people are prone to getting recurrent urine infections, not because of any particular known reason. However, there are a few things that can increase your risk.
Sexual intercourse. The bacteria that cause urine infections are normally found in the intestines and around the anus. Sexual intercourse increases the amount of these bacteria that get into the bladder which in turn causes infection.
Use of spermicides. Spermicides are birth control chemicals that you put in your vagina before intercourse to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg. These chemicals also tend to increase your risk of getting urine infections because they kill off the good bacteria within the vagina.
Tight underwear and jeans. These may increase your risk of recurrent UTIs because they can increase the warmth and moisture in your private area and this can possibly aid the growth of bacteria.
Menopause. Women who have undergone menopause are at a higher risk of getting recurrent urine infections due to changes in the reproductive system that occur.
How can I prevent recurrent Urine infections?
The chance of getting recurrent urine infections can be reduced by the following measures.
- Ensure that you drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day. This helps to “flush” your urine system.
- Make sure you urinate before and after sexual intercourse.
- Avoid tight underwear and jeans
- Avoid the use of spermicides if you experience recurrent urine infections.
- When you wipe yourself after visiting the toilet, wipe from front to back
How do I treat urine infections?
Confirmed urine infections usually require treatment with antibiotics. Speak to your doctor about the most suitable antibiotic for you.
Should a man be worried if they get urine infections?
Men are less likely than women to suffer from urine infections, so it is important if you experience symptoms of a urine infection as a man, to contact your doctor.