- Women's Health
UTI Symptoms and Causes
Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) can hurt quite a bit, regardless if the person experiencing it is male or female. Despite the common perception of urine as being a dirty bodily fluid, it’s actually sterile when it leaves the body. Granted, most people wouldn’t want to have direct contact with either their or someone else’s urine, but, generally speaking, the stuff is pretty clean. Cystitis occurs when bacteria manages to make its way into the urine; once it starts to multiply, it’s pretty much all downhill from there and antibiotics are needed to get the bacterial overgrowth under control. Read on for the more common symptoms and causes of UTIs in men and women.
Common UTI Symptoms
Pain or burning whilst urinating; barely being able to pass urine despite feeling like you’ve got to; pain during urination; cloudy or foul smelling urine; pain during intimacy; fever; chills; nausea and/or vomiting.
Common UTI Causes
Poor hygiene -- E. coli is the most common bacterial culprit that launches urinary tract infections. E. coli tends to inhabit the rectal area, but can be transferred during bathroom use. If a woman has a tendency to wipe from back to front, she increases her chances of depositing E. coli in the vicinity of her urethra, which could lead to a urinary tract infection. Or, transference could take place if someone touched themselves first in one area and then the other without washing their hands. It’s not necessarily reflective of, say, someone who doesn’t shower, but rather someone who has poor hygiene techniques when it comes to using the toilet.
Intimate contact -- Women who are very active in the bedroom have a better chance of acquiring a UTI than women are aren’t. Every time close physical contact of this nature takes place, it increases her odds of bringing her urethra in contact with contaminated skin or bodily fluids.
Various health conditions -- Pregnancy, diabetes, allergies and other health conditions can alter the body’s resistance and lead to UTIs in both men and women. The elderly often have difficulty emptying their bladders completely, giving bacteria an opportunity to flourish, which is why so many of them have frequent cystitis issues.
Poor immune systems -- Men and women with suppressed immune systems are at greater risk for developing cystitis than those who have normal immune systems. This includes anyone who might require medication to deliberately suppress the immune system; obviously this could make them doubly susceptible if they are in poor health to begin with.
Physiological obstructions -- Enlarged prostates and other conditions can prevent the normal passage of urine, which can lead to bacteria “backing up” or taking up residence in the urethra.