Urinary Tract Infection
Alternate Names : Cystitis, Bladder Infection, UTI
A urinary tract infection, also called a UTI, is an infection of the bladder. The bladder holds urine produced by the kidneys.
What is going on in the body?
The bladder and the urine it holds are normally free from bacteria and other organisms. A urinary tract infection occurs when organisms are introduced into the bladder. Bacteria from the skin may enter through the urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. Organisms can also enter the bladder on urinary catheters.
Bacteria in the bladder are usually flushed out when the person urinates. If bacteria multiply faster than they can be removed, a UTI results.
UTIs are more common in women than in men. Women have a shorter urethra which allows easier access for bacteria.
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
The most common cause of a UTI is a bacteria called E. coli. These bacteria are normally present in the bowel and feces. They can be introduced into the bladder by sexual activity.
Following are some of the risk factors for developing a UTI:
blockage of the urethra by a tumor or enlarged prostate
impaired bladder function
inadequate fluid intake
objects inserted into the bladder, such as a urinary catheter