Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) in women
Women are more prone to contracting Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) compared to men. It is common that many women may experience more than one infection in their lifetime. This is due to the female anatomy. A female woman has a shorter urethra than a man does, which shortens the distance that bacteria must travel to reach the bladder, thus causing infections.
The vast majority of UTI are caused by the bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli), usually found in the digestive system. This kind of bacteria causes infection of the bladder (cystitis).
Bacteria such as Chlamydia and Mycoplasma can also infect the urethra (urethritis) but not the bladder. This type of UTI occurs when the bacteria spread from the anus to the urethra. And because the female urethra is close to the vagina, sexually transmitted infections such as herpes, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and mycoplasma, can cause urethritis.
UTI may affect any part of your urinary system. Kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra are all susceptible to infections. However, infections mostly affect the lower urinary tract, which is the urethra and bladder. Infections that affect the bladder can be painful and bothersome, but typically able to be treated with antibiotics. However, if the UTI spreads to the kidneys, serious consequences can occur.