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Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

UTI - Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) - Causes, Prevent and Cure

UTI Causes / Risk factors

Bacteria taking up residence in the UT tract wall

Pathogenic / Virilent Strains of Certain Bacteria CAUSE UTIs

Over-acidity of urine increases risk of UTI

Mildly acidic urine curbs bacterial growth better than stronger acidic urine.   Researchers at the Washington school of medicine found that urine with an acidic pH close to neutral  was better able to restrict bacterial growth than more acidic samples. The less acidic samples also had a higher activity of an immune system protein (siderocalin) that the body makes to fight infection. (Shields-Cutler, 2015)

Urine becomes more acidic with:

•  Dehydration

•  Dietary "triggers" causing acidity in the system.   Body tries to “dump” acid via urination;

Being a woman increases risk of UTI

Females are at greater risk for UTIs due to their anatomy.    Men are not as prone as women to having UTIs

-   In 95% of cases, the bacteria enters the urinary tract by the ascending route through the urethra.    Possibly coming from fecal material, use of spermacides, or the use of diaphragms.

-   The longer male urethra offers an explanation for why more women than men contract UTIs.    Also, in men, the prostate gland produces secretions that slow bacterial growth.

Frequent Douching.     Normally, cells in the bladder are coated with a mucus called glycosaminoglycans(GAGs) -which prevent bacteria from sticking to the cells in the bladder wall so the bacteria cannot “Set up house”.    If that layer of mucus is removed by frequent douching), the bacteria can move in and grow rapidly.

Wiping forward /Incomplete wiping after a bowel movement contaminates skin

Use of:  diaphragms /spermicides / tampons, sanitary pads, fragranced feminine hygiene sprays, chemical douches, diaphragm,  soap, bubble baths, toilet paper.    Allows chemicals to enter vagina / urinary tract .

Pregnancy, menopause

Heavy painful menstrual periods

injury to urinary tract.  Possibly intercourse or childbirth increases irritation to give bacteria a new place to grow

Frequent or “first-time” intercourse.     Note that UTIs are not usually a sexually transmitted disease, but the physical act of intercourse can cause local irritation in the ureter due to prolonged, frequent, recent or first-time sexual activity, increasing susceptibility risk to UTI bacteria.E.g. ”Honeymoon cystitis”is not uncommon in women having sex for the first time.

Menopause.   Decrease in estrogen thins the lining of the urinary tract, which increases susceptibility to bacterial infections.

Other factors increase risk of UTI

•  Poor hygiene

•  Overuse of antibiotics

•  Impaired immune function

•  Not emptying bladder.  The bladder immediately tries to empty itself when bacteria enter. If you are unable to completely empty your bladder, you have a greater risk of getting an infection - also, the infection is more difficult to treat

•  Catheter or tubes placed in bladder

•  Allergies / Decreased immune function

•  Lowered libido

•  Pelvic congestion from chronic constipation

•  Those with untreated diabetes, spinal cord injury, M.S., prostate infection


Shields-Cutler RR, Crowley JR, Hung CS, Stapleton AE, Aldrich CC, Marschall J, Henderson JP (2015, Jun 26) Human urinary composition controls siderocalin’s antibacterial activity. The Journal of Biological Chemistry.

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