Urinary Tract Infection

Why Women are More Prone to Bladder Infections than Men

Why Women are More Prone to Bladder Infections than Men

Gulfshore Urology Bladder InfectionsBladder infections, or cystitis, can occur in both men and women, but it is much rarer in males than their female counterparts. In fact, bladder infections are so common in women that most will experience at least one in their lifetime.

Why is that? To understand the reason behind female proneness to bladder infections, you must first understand what it is, what causes it, and how.

What is a Bladder Infection?

Cystitis is an infection that occurs when bacteria finds its way into the bladder. Particularly, E. Coli. When caught early, they are not very serious. However, if ignored, they can grow exponentially worse, traveling to the kidneys where they can leave permanent damage when left untreated.

For women, sex can often be the culprit of this kind of infection because vaginal intercourse makes it easier for the bacteria to reach the bladder via the urethra. Risks are also increased by the use of spermicides, condoms, and the hormonal fluctuations caused by pregnancy.

Why are Women More Prone to Bladder Infections than Men?

The reason women are more likely to develop bladder infections than men comes down to basic anatomy. Female urethras are much shorter than male urethras. Approximately an inch and a half in length to be exact. This means the bacteria doesn’t have to travel nearly as far to reach the bladder.

Another risk enhancing attribute involves the location of the urethra. Located next to the vagina and anus, it is much easier for bacteria to travel from those two areas to the urethra.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a bladder infection include:

  • A burning sensation or pain while urinating
  • Feeling the need to urinate frequently, but little to no urine is released when you do
  • Lower belly pain
  • Cloudy or smelly urine
  • Blood in your urine
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Pain in one side of the back just below your ribs (where your kidneys are located)

If you are experiencing these symptoms, you will want to make an appointment with your urologist.

How to Prevent Bladder Infections

The best way to prevent cystitis is to remain hydrated and urinate often. Always relieve yourself after engaging in sexual intercourse and maintain proper hygiene. For women who have already gone through menopause, it may be advantageous to use vaginal estrogen to help stave off these sort of infections as well.

Should you have any questions regarding bladder infections or urological health, you should contact your local urologist. Gulfshore Urology currently has several expert physicians on staff, as well as locations in Naples, Bonita Springs, and Marco Island.

  Rolando R. Rivera   Apr 17, 2016   Uncategorized, Urinary Tract Infection, Urology   Comments Off on Why Women are More Prone to Bladder Infections than Men   Read More

Common UTI Symptoms and Prevention

GS_UTI BlogUrinary Tract Infections (UTI’s) are common infections that occur within the urinary system. This can include the urethra, bladder, and kidneys. They occur more frequently in women due to a short urethra. In fact, studies show that up to 1 in every 2 women will develop a UTI at least once in their lifetime.

Although UTI’s can occur in men, it is rare. Especially in men under the age of 50, as the male urinary tract has many natural defenses against infection.

Symptoms

UTI symptoms include:

  • Cloudy, dark, or strange-smelling urine
  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Frequent urges to urinate, followed by dribbling urine
  • Pain or pressure in your lower back or abdomen
  • Fatigue

If you develop a fever, nausea or chills on top of the above symptoms, then this could be a sign that the infection has reached your kidneys. If this is the case, you should seek medical attention immediately, as kidney infections can pose serious health problems very quickly.

Cause

UTI’s occur when bacteria invades the urethra and travels up into the bladder. When left untreated, these infections can continue on to the kidneys, where serious infection can develop.

Other causes include genetics, such as abnormalities in the urinary tract. Women with diabetes, multiple sclerosis, kidney stones, or who are pregnant are also more susceptible to developing UTI’s.

Treatment

After conducting tests on a urine sample to confirm and identify the bacteria causing the infection, your doctor will prescribe the appropriate antibiotic to treat the UTI. The consumption of fluids (such as cranberry juice) is also important to help flush out the bacteria in your system.

Prevention

The best way for women to prevent a UTI is to pay close attention to hygiene. Because the urethra in women is located close to the anus, it is important to wipe from front to back rather than vice versa to prevent the spread of bacteria. Other habits that will help reduce a woman’s risk of UTI are:

  • Urinating as soon as you feel the urge to go
  • Drink water throughout the day
  • Trade baths for showers
  • Cleanse the genital area before sex
  • Urinate after sex

If you are experiencing symptoms of UTI or suffer from frequent UTI’s, then make an appointment with your doctor today.

  Rolando R. Rivera   Mar 10, 2016   Urinary Tract Infection   Comments Off on Common UTI Symptoms and Prevention   Read More