A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of the urinary system which includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, prostate (in men) and urethra. Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria develops in the urinary system. Normal urine does not contain any bacteria (germs). Bacteria can get into the urine and the urinary tract from the skin around the rectum and genitals by traveling up the urethra into the bladder.
For women, the risk of having a UTI is greater than men. This is partly due to a shorter urethra in women, so it is easier for the bacteria to move up to the bladder. Bacteria can also get into the urinary tract following sexual intercourse or use of a diaphragm for birth control or from improper cleansing technique after a bowel movement.
Some basic preventive measures you can take to reduce your risk of developing a UTI include:
Following these steps will help you to prevent urinary tract infections from interfering with your life.