• Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) Risk Factors

Risk Factors
  • Female anatomy: Women are more prone to develop Urinary tract infection (UTI) than men because of the structural position of the urethra. It is smaller and closer to the anus which increases the risk of infection.
  • Age: Men are more prone to UTI above 50 years because of the enlarged prostate gland which obstructs the flow of urine and causes infection.
    Also vesicoureteral reflux (wherein urine flows in the backward direction towards kidney) causes urinary tract infections during early childhood.
  • Sexual intercourse: Intercourse causes easy travel of bacteria from anal-vaginal area to urethra and then to bladder. Frequent sexual intercourse increases the chance of acquiring UTI. The term "honeymoon cystitis" has been applied to the condition of frequent UTIs in a female during the initial days of marriage.
  • Contraceptives: If female condom is not properly placed, it might increase the pressure within the bladder and cause infection due to urine backflow.
  • Menopause: After menopause, the risk of UTI is increased because of low estrogen levels that make the urinary tract more susceptible to infection.
  • Allergies: Women who have allergy to use of soaps, vaginal creams, or other chemicals that are introduced in the genital area are at increased risk for UTIs.
  • Block in the urinary tract: Sometimes, renal stones or enlarged prostate trap urine in the bladder and increase the risk of UTI.
  • Urinary catheterization: Patients who have difficulty in passing urine and use a catheter have more risk of developing UTI. If the catheter remains for a longer period of time without being replaced, growth of bacteria increases exponentially leading to UTI.
  • Low immune system: Patients with Diabetes or other medical conditions suffer from an impaired immune system and can predispose one to UTI.
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