Other Causes Of Utis In Women And Men
Being constipated makes you susceptible to UTIs as it prevents your bladder from emptying fully.26
Bacteria from your bowels can easily reach your urethra when you suffer from diarrhea, resulting in UTIs.27
People with diabetes are prone to UTIs because of immune system impairments, improper metabolic control, and incomplete bladder emptying.28
4. Kidney Stones
Kidney stones can obstruct the flow of urine due to which it may be difficult for you to empty your bladder fully.29
People with acquired immunodeficiency disease syndrome/human immunodeficiency virus have a high risk of contracting UTIs because their immune system will not be able to fight infections effectively.30
6. Urological Abnormalities
Urological abnormalities are often associated with UTIs that are complicated.31 Treatment of such patients is individualized to minimize complications and risks of future infections.
Precautions To Prevent Uti
Prevention is better than cure. Thus men can take the following precautions in order to reduce the risk of suffering from a Urinary Tract Infection. Some of the precautions for men
- Try to empty their bladder often
- drink lots of fluids, especially water
- Carefully clean the area under the foreskin after a shower, especially if not circumcised
- Clean their genitals both before and after having sex so as to remove the presence of bacteria
- Try to clean from back to front when toileting
- Use condoms during sex
- Definitely urinate after sex in order to remove any bacteria which might have been passed during the sexual intercourse.
Urinary Tract Infection can cause penile discharge in males. Thus, males should take extra prevention in order to avoid UTI.
Truth: Type Of Uti Test Matters Especially For Frequent Infections
For patients with recurrent urinary tract infection , your doctor likely will culture your urine to determine the specific type of bacteria causing your infection. A culture is more informative than a dipstick urine test that reveals only whether an infection is likely to be present.
The right test is particularly important for someone who experiences recurring infections. This is to be sure that your symptoms truly are due to infection and that the antibiotics usually used for these infections are appropriate for you, said Dr. Dielubanza.
Reasons Why Women Get More Utis Than Men
Dr. Boyd Clary discusses anatomical differences and tips for prevention.
If youve ever felt that burning sensation and frequent need to urinate, youre not alone. One of the most frequent causes for a sick visit to the OB/GYN is a urinary tract infection . A UTI occurs when bacteria enter the urethra and infect part of your urinary system.
UTIs are significantly more common in women than in men. In fact, women get UTIs up to 30 times more often than men. Why? As with most things, there is no one answer. From anatomical differences to hormonal changes and stages of a womans reproductive life cycle, a combination of factors contributes to women being more susceptible to UTIs than men. Lets take a look.
1. Length of Urethra
The biggest reason is female anatomy, particularly with regards to the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. While the urethra is an exit for urine, it is also an entrance for bacteria to get into the urinary tract. The female urethra is much shorter in length in women than men. The average female urethra is 1-2 inches long compared to the male urethra which is 6 inches long. This is important when it comes to bacteria. Bacteria is seeded at the urethra meatus , which means it has a shorter distance to climb to infect the bladder in females than in males.
2. More Sensitive Skin
3. Placement of Urethra
4. Sexual Contact
5. Specific Types of Contraception
When Should You Call Your Doctor
An immediate visit to a physician is warranted if you have a fever, flank pain, flu-like symptoms, or four-smelling vaginal discharge. These may be signs that your body may be fighting more than an uncomplicated UTI. Contrary to a common assumption among patients, the smell or appearance of urine by itself is not a reliable measure of infection, said Dr. Dielubanza.
Here she addresses some other common myths and truths about UTIs.
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Myth: Hygiene Habits And Clothing Fit Contribute To Utis
You may have heard that certain hygiene practices are risk factors for UTIs, particularly for women. But UTIs are not caused by how you wipe in the bathroom, by tampon use or by failing to empty your bladder after sexual intercourse. Theyre also not caused by wearing tight clothes.
A lot of women express concern about these, said Dr. Dielubanza. But studies have shown there is no association between these practices and UTIs.
You Dont Drink Enough Water
Guzzling H2O will make you go pretty often. And thats a good thing. When you do this, the bacteria gets flushed out before they have a chance to grab hold, Minkin says.
Consider that your cue to make a giant water bottle your BFF. Hooton TM, et al. . Effect of increased daily water intake in premenopausal women with recurrent urinary tract infections: A randomized clinical trial. DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.4204
Why Do Girls And Women Get More Frequent Utis
Girls and women get UTIs much more frequently than boys and men, because they have a shorter urethra, and the opening lies closer to the rectum and vagina where bacteria are more likely to be.
Some people who get frequent UTIs may have an abnormality in their urinary tract or a problem with how it functions. The most common functional problem of the urinary tract is called vesicoureteral reflux a condition in which some urine flows backward, or refluxes, from the bladder into the ureters and even up to the kidneys.
Bacteria can find their way into the urethra by several ways. During sexual intercourse, the bacteria in the vaginal area may be pushed into the urethra and eventually end up in the bladder, where urine provides a good environment for the bacteria to grow. Bacteria may also be introduced into a girl’s bladder by wiping from back to front after a bowel movement, which can contaminate the urethral opening. An increased risk of UTIs has been associated with the use of spermicides and diaphragms as contraceptives.
Sexually transmitted diseases may cause UTI-like symptoms, such as pain with urination. If a course of antibiotics does not clear up a UTI, or if you have other symptoms, such as a discolored or smelly discharge from the vagina then see your doctor or a sexual health nurse. If untreated, STDs can lead to serious long-term problems, including pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. STDs are contagious.
Uti Tests And Diagnosis
If you suspect that you have a urinary tract infection, go to the doctor. You’ll give a urine sample to test for UTI-causing bacteria.
If you get frequent UTIs and your doctor suspects a problem in your urinary tract, they might take a closer look with an ultrasound, a CT scan, or an MRI scan. They might also use a long, flexible tube called a cystoscope to look inside your urethra and bladder.
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Whats The Difference Between A Urinary Tract Infection And Bladder Infection
A urinary tract infection is a more general type of infection. There are many parts of your urinary tract. A UTI is a term for an infection that takes place throughout the urinary tract. A bladder infection, also called cystitis, is a specific infection. In this infection, bacteria makes its way into the bladder and causes inflammation.
Not all urinary tract infections become bladder infections. Preventing the spread of the infection is one of the most important reasons to treat a UTI quickly when you have symptoms. The infection can spread not only to the bladder, but also into your kidneys, which is a more complicated type of infection than a UTI.
This Is How Uti Happens
- E.coli bacteria cause 90% of all UTIs.
- These bacteria live in your intestines and are present in your poop and on your genitals.
- If there are too many of them, they could be easily carried out toward urethra during sex to cause a UTI.
- Location, location, location! Its unfortunate that womens clitoris is right next to urethra. And for guys, the urethra is, obviously is in the penis. Both organs are frequently used during sex.
- Every time you introduce pathogenic bacteria in your urethra, there is a chance that you could contract a UTI.
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Causes Of Urinary Tract Infection In Men
Even through the male urinary system is more protected from infection than its female counterpart, it can still get infected due to certain factors.
1. Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Chlamydia trachomatis, Mycoplasma genitalium, Ureaplasma urealyticum, Trichomonas vaginalis, anaerobes, Herpes simplex virus , and adenovirus are sexually transmitted microbes that cause urethritis in men.2122 Sexually active men, who have developed UTI, should abstain from intercourse until their UTI is treated completely.
The most common cause of UTI in men is prostatitis, an infection of the prostate gland that causes it to enlarge in size.23 An enlarged prostate prevents the bladder from emptying completely, due to which any bacteria present in the residual urine in the bladder do not get flushed out like they normally would.24 Instead, they multiply and cause infection.
Men Of What Age Are Most Affected By UTIs?
The incidence of UTIs is high is sexually active men aged 18-24. It decreases during middle age and increases again in older men above the age of 65 years.25
Women Of What Age Are Most Affected By Utis
Once you develop a UTI, treating it does not mean that you can sit back and relax because there are chances of it recurring. About 1 in 4 women develops a recurrence of urinary tract infections.20
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Symptoms And Treatment For Urinary Tract Infections
Most people who get UTIs notice symptoms and discomfort. For an infection in your lower urinary tract, you may experience some or all of the following:
- Pain or burning while urinating
- Feeling a need to urinate even when your bladder is empty
- Aches or cramps in your lower abdomen
If the infection is in your kidneys, you may also notice fever and chills, backache, and nausea and vomiting.
If you think you have a UTI, call your doctor to discuss your symptoms. You will likely need to give a urine sample, which may help confirm the diagnosis. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to clear up the infection. They might also suggest medicine that will help with the discomfort.
Youre Using Certain Methods Of Birth Control
When it comes to UTI prevention, not all birth control methods are created equal. Luckily, only one method is associated with UTIs: a diaphragm.
Because of where the diaphragm sits, it puts pressure on the urethra, which might lead to an increased risk, says Minkin. The good news? There are plenty of other great birth control options.
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Can Female Pass A Uti To A Healthy Male Partner
Good news: it is highly unlikely that a female could pass a UTI to her male partner.
First of all, if you are a male, it is very unlikely that you are ever going to experience a UTI regardless whether your female partner has them or not.
In order for a man to get a UTI a lot of things need to go wrong.
Mans urethra is at least 4 times longer than females, therefore it is so much harder for pathogenic bacteria to reach the bladder.
Moreover, if a female has a UTI, most likely her vaginal flora has been misbalanced for a while.
This means that pathogenic bacteria have been growing in her vagina and eventually reached the urethra, causing a UTI.
And this would not happen overnight.
Chances are her vaginal flora has been compromised with the pathogenic bacteria long before the first UTI symptoms.
Bottom line, if you are female, you will not pass a UTI to your otherwise healthy male partner.
How Can I Take Care Of Myself
- Follow your healthcare provider’s treatment. Take all of the antibiotic that your healthcare provider prescribes, even when you feel better. Do not take medicine left over from previous prescriptions.
- Drink more fluids, especially water, to help flush bacteria from your system.
- If you have a fever:
- Take aspirin or acetaminophen to control the fever. Check with your healthcare provider before you give any medicine that contains aspirin or salicylates to a child or teen. This includes medicines like baby aspirin, some cold medicines, and Pepto Bismol. Children and teens who take aspirin are at risk for a serious illness called Reye’s syndrome.
- Keep a daily record of your temperature.
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Theres Stuff You Yes You Can Do To Help
Sure, this all sounds pretty bad, but what do I expect you to do about it? Its true that for the most part, a woman is kind of on her own when it comes to preventing UTIs. Again, if a she develops a UTI during sex with you, its not actually your fault you didnt give her the infection, you were probably just an unwitting accomplice. That said, there are certain things you can do during sex that may help reduce your partners risk of infection.
Ask Your Doctor When In Doubt
And the last cautionary note: while E.coli causes majority of UTIs, Chlamydia or trichomoniasis could also cause UTI-like symptoms.
Various bacteria and microorganisms including even fungal organisms are responsible for the rest of the infections.
All things considered, while the chances are low to pass a UTI to your partner, it is always better to consult a physician or take a test to confirm the diagnosis before engaging in unprotected sex.
Regardless of whether you decide on perpetual celibacy or engage in a risky endeavor called sex, here are things to remember:
1. Be smart about which contraception methods you use. Certain contraception methods could affect your chances of contracting a UTI
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How Women Can Prevent Utis
Follow the same tips as men, plus do the following:
- After using the toilet, wipe from front to back to keep bacteria away from your urethra.
- Talk to your doctor about birth control options. Using lubricated condoms may lead to fewer UTIs.
Complexity, frequency, risk factors and prevention tips may differ by gender, but urinary tract infections are equally uncomfortable for everyone. The better news is that for both men and women most UTIs arent serious and dont cause other problems if you seek medical care right away.
How Are Utis Treated
Your doctor will typically prescribe an oral antibiotic to rid you of the UTI.
Yavagal says if you come down with a UTI frequently, ask your doctor to do a culture one time to be sure this is actually what you have. A chronic bladder condition known as interstitial cystitis is sometimes mistaken for a UTI, she says. You should be especially suspicious if the antibiotics you have taken for your UTIs in the past have not sufficiently helped.
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Can I Become Immune To The Antibiotics Used To Treat A Uti
Your body can actually get used to the antibiotics typically used to treat a urinary tract infection . This happens in people who have very frequent infections. With each UTI and use of antibiotics to treat it, the infection adapts and becomes harder to fight. This is called an antibiotic-resistant infection. Because of this, your healthcare provider may suggest alternative treatments if you have frequent UTIs. These could include:
- Waiting: Your provider may suggest that you watch your symptoms and wait. During this time, you may be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids in an effort to flush out your system.
- Intravenous treatment: In some very complicated cases, where the UTI is resistant to antibiotics or the infection has moved to your kidneys, you may need to be treated in the hospital. The medicine will be given to you directly in your vein . Once youre home, you will be prescribed antibiotics for a period of time to fully get rid of the infection.
Can I Prevent A Urinary Tract Infection
You can usually prevent a urinary tract infection with lifestyle changes. These tips can include:
In some post-menopausal women, a healthcare provider may suggest an estrogen-containing vaginal cream. This may reduce the risk of developing a UTI by changing the pH of the vagina. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have recurrent UTIs and have already gone through menopause.
Over-the-counter supplements are also available for UTIs. These are sometimes recommended for people who have frequent UTIs as another way to prevent them. Talk to your healthcare provider before starting any supplements and ask if these could be a good choice for you.
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