In women, a urinary tract infection is linked to, in most cases, a lack of water. The act of wiping back to front after a bowel movement promotes infections by bringing bacteria to the urinary meatus (opening where urine exits the body). Failure to urinate immediately after intercourse (to clear bacteria that have entered the urethra) is another important factor.
Other contributing factors
Constipation is another contributing factor, as prolonged fecal stagnation in the rectum is a permanent source of infestation. More rarely, a UTI is caused by a malformation of the urinary system (bladder to kidney for example) or a gynecological issue.
Understanding UTI symptoms
In humans, it is common to find no cause for a urinary infection. Before the age of 50, infection is often due to unprotected sex. In older men, the most common cause is the presence of an enlarged prostate (prostatic adenoma) that compresses the urethra and causes urine stasis in the bladder.
Every obstacle that decreases the flow of urine are considered factors: urinary tract compressions, stones, bladder neck disease, human prostate pathology, urethral stricture, etc. Finally, certain neurological dysfunctions of the bladder, infections of neighboring organs (rectum, vagina, etc.) and all intraurethral maneuvers (urinary catheters, for example) are rare but are causes nonetheless.
Signs of a urinary infection
Sometimes a urinary infection shows no symptoms, especially in the elderly. A UTI can result in an isolated fever without any other condition, especially in children or the elderly. Typically, a bladder infection (cystitis) is characterized by burning and frequent urination.
Urine is sometimes cloudy, bloody and/or smelly. There is often pain or heaviness in the pelvic area. An infection of the urethra (urethritis) is manifested in the same way as cystitis.
A kidney infection (pyelonephritis) is responsible for general symptoms: high fever at 101 degrees and above, chills, poor general health, etc. These issues could be associated with back pains, which can be bilateral. Sometimes there are also signs of cystitis.
An infection of the prostate (prostatitis) results in painful urinating, frequent urination and low urinary volumes. Also present is a high fever, chills and sometimes flu-like symptoms (muscle or joint pain). There may be some pus seeping from the urethral meatus.