Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms, Causes and Treatments Image

A urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria enter the urinary tract and reproduce. Over 8 million Americans seek medical attention for urinary tract infections annually.

Women are especially susceptible: One in five women will have at least one urinary tract infection during her life. Infection is a common cause of incontinence in women. The condition is less common in men, but can become serious when infection does occur. The female urethra is much shorter than the male ‘s, and the opening of the urethra is closer to the anus in a woman. Bacteria from both the anus and the vagina can enter the female urethra very easily, which may account for the much higher rate of urinary tract infections in women.

Most urinary tract infections occur in the urethra (urethritis), but they can spread to the bladder, causing cystitis bladder infection. In some cases bacteria can even reach the kidneys a serious condition called pyelonephritis, or kidney infection.

This site is divided into multiple articles, covering topics such as urinary tract anatomy and UTI prevention.