What are the causes of urinary tract infection or urinary infection?
An infection occurs when there is contamination of the urinary area due to bacteria from the gut. The most common germ is E. coli (80%). Other causative bacteria include Staphylococcus saprophyticus (10% to 15%), Enterococcus, Klebsiella, Enterobacter and Proteus.
Some habits or conditions may also increase your risk of urinary tract infection (UTI). These include
- Not drinking enough water
- Holding urine for long periods
- Spinal cord injuries or nerve damage that may cause difficulties in emptying bladder regularly and completely
- Tumors, kidney stones and an enlarged prostate (in men) that may block the flow of urine
- Conditions such as diabetes that may reduce the ability of the body’s immune system to fight off an infection, especially in an older person
- A catheter (a tube placed in the urethra and bladder to drain urine) in a bed-ridden person
- Women get infected more commonly because a woman’s urethra is shorter than a man’s, which allows easy access to the bladder
- Unhygienic patterns of wiping the genital area, especially in women
- Sexual activity that may move the infection to the urethra
- Birth control methods such as spermicides, diaphragms and unlubricated condoms that may allow bacterial growth
- Hormonal changes in pregnant women and women who are in menopause