A urinary tract infection can affect any component of the urinary system, which encompasses the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. These infections tend to be more common in women than in men; nearly half of all women will experience one urinary tract infection during their lifetime. Female urethrae are shorter than male. Therefore, it is easy for harmful bacteria to get transferred from the bowels to the urinary tract. In uncomplicated cases, it is simple to treat a urinary tract infection with prescribed medication. In complicated cases that affect the kidneys, treatment depends on the nature and severity of the infection.
The most common symptom of a urinary tract infection is a burning sensation during urination. Urine passes through the ureters on its road to expulsion. E. coli reside in the bowels but can be transferred from the anal area to the outer ureter during sex or wiping after a bowel movement. This is why women should always wipe front to back. After the bacteria reaches the ureters, they become infected and inflamed. When urine passes through, irritation can cause pain.
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