Urinary infections are usually caused by changes in the balance of the genital microbiota, favoring the proliferation of microorganisms naturally found in the body and leading to the appearance of signs and symptoms of urinary infection, such as pain and burning when urinating, a frequent urge to urinate, but in small quantities and cloudy urine.
The microbiota corresponds to the set of microorganisms naturally present in the organism and its balance can suffer interference from some simple factors, such as incorrect intimate hygiene, holding pee for a long time and drinking little water during the day, for example.
Often this infection goes unnoticed and the body is able to fight it naturally, but when symptoms of pain or burning when urinating, for example, it is necessary to seek medical attention and start the appropriate treatment, which is usually done with antibiotics or antifungals, depending on of the identified microorganism. Learn to recognize the symptoms of urinary tract infection.
What can cause urinary tract infection
Urinary tract infection can happen as a consequence of any situation that causes an imbalance in the amount of microorganisms present in the genital region, the main causes being:
1. Hold the pee for a long time
In addition to eliminating excess fluids and toxins from the body, urine helps to clean the walls of the urethra, eliminating bacteria that may be rising to the bladder. Therefore, holding the pee prevents this natural cleaning process from happening, facilitating the development of bacteria.
In addition, when too much urine accumulates, the bladder becomes more dilated and is unable to contract completely when finally using the bathroom. When this happens, a little urine may remain inside the bladder, increasing the risk of growth of microorganisms and the development of infection.
2. Doing intimate hygiene incorrectly
One of the places that has more bacteria capable of causing a urinary infection is the intestine, so to clean the intimate area you should always pass the toilet paper from front to back, avoiding bringing bacteria that are in the butt area, especially after use the bathroom. See 5 other rules to do intimate hygiene and prevent diseases .
Although this is one of the biggest causes of urinary tract infection in women, it can also happen in men, especially during the bath, when the gluteal region is first washed before the penis, for example.
3. Drink little water during the day
In the same way that holding the pee for a long time can facilitate the development of fungi and bacteria in the urethra and bladder, drinking little water during the day can also have the same effect. This is because the body ceases to produce enough urine to use the toilet several times during the day, allowing the microorganisms that would be eliminated by the urine to continue up to the bladder.
Thus, it is advised to drink at least about 2 liters of water per day to keep the urinary system healthy.
4. Using absorbents for a long time
Tampons, as well as panties, are a great way to maintain hygiene during your menstrual period. However, when they get dirty they facilitate the development of bacteria that can reach the urinary system, causing urinary infection.
To avoid this problem, you should replace the absorbent or protector frequently, preferably every 4 hours or when they are already dirty, washing the area before changing.
5. Having kidney stones
People with kidney stones usually experience frequent attacks of urinary tract infection, as the presence of the stones can make the urinary tract more clogged and, therefore, the urine cannot be completely eliminated. When this happens, the bacteria that may be growing in the urine, inside the bladder, have more time to develop and cause an infection.
In these cases, the most important step is to try to prevent the appearance of new stones and try to eliminate the ones that already exist. Know some natural alternatives to kidney stone .
Who is most at risk of infection
In addition to the main causes, there are still some factors that increase the risk of having a urinary tract infection, which include:
- Bladder problems that prevent its proper emptying;
- Use of a catheter to urinate;
- Bloodstream infection;
- Weakened immune system, such as during cancer treatment or diseases such as AIDS;
- Anatomical alteration of the urinary tract.
In addition, women are more likely to develop urinary infections because the urethra, the channel through which urine flows, is closer to the anus than in men, which facilitates colonization by bacteria from one place to another, mainly due to hygiene incorrect underwear.
In addition, women are also at greater risk when they are pregnant or when using the diaphragm as a contraceptive method, condoms with spermicide and during intimate relationships in general, for facilitating contamination from microorganisms from the partner.
In the case of men, urinary tract infection is more frequent when there are problems with the growth of the prostate, as it presses the bladder and prevents the complete elimination of urine.
Is urinary infection contagious?
Urinary tract infection is not contagious and therefore there is no way for a person to pass on to another, even during intimate contact. However, sexual intercourse can promote its development due to contact with the latex of condoms, spermicides or sex toys that can alter the vaginal flora, causing the bacteria that cause the urinary infection to multiply, giving rise to the disease.
What can cause frequent urinary tract infection
Certain women have a predisposition to have frequent episodes of urinary tract infection. Even if they take all care, avoiding more than 3 hours without drinking fluids, cleaning themselves correctly and keeping the genital area always clean and dry, they can have more than 6 urinary infections in the same year.
The main explanation for this fact is the anatomical issue, because the closer your urethra is to the anus, the greater the chances of bacteria from the perianal region reaching the urethra and causing infection in the urinary tract.
In addition, diabetic and menopausal women are also more at risk of having a urinary tract infection, so adopting a low-carbohydrate diet is also an excellent strategy to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in the urinary tract, thus preventing the recurrence of urinary tract infection.