A urinary tract infection can affect several organs of the urinary system (bladder, kidney, urethra, or prostate). For anatomical reasons, women are more often affected by these infections that start in the bladder. Frequently, UTI symptoms (including cystitis) are characterized by burning, painful urination, including a frequent urge to urinate.
Most often caused by the bacterium Escherichia Coli, UTI’s are treated with antibiotics.
What is cystitis?
Cystitis is an infection – acute or chronic – of a urinary organ. These organs consist of the bladder, the kidney (which makes the urine), the urethra (canal under the bladder that allows the evacuation of urine), or the prostate (gland located around the urethra of the man). For anatomic reasons, a urinary tract infection is more common in women.
Indeed, in women, bacteria are always present because of constant wiping. These bacteria can go up the urethra to the bladder and grow in the urine. This is especially the case if the female wipes back to front and not front to back.
A lack of local hygiene can, therefore, favor UTI problems in women.
Men and UTI’s
Men are relatively protected from urinary infections because of the distance between the man’s backside and the urethral meatus – opening located at the tip of the male sex organ – (the length of the male urethra is 16 cm on average, while that of the female urethra is 2 cm). Urinary tract infections are, therefore, often home to abnormalities in the urinary tract. This is especially the case when there is a prostate adenoma (which causes stasis of urine in the bladder).
The bacteria (or germs) responsible are most often because of the Enterobacteria family (bacteria of a digestive origin):
- Escherichia coli (80% of cases)
- Proteus mirabilis
- Citrobacter, etc.
Causes and risk factors of cystitis
Urine is a good culture medium for the germs listed above. The body defends itself against urinary infections by emptying the bladder. This is one of the reasons doctors stress the importance of drinking plenty of water.
UTI’s may be common but they don’t have to be. Drink plenty of fluids and never hold your urine in for long amounts of time.