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Common Causes of UTI

Medically reviewed by Elfred Landas, MD · General Practitioner · Maxicare Primary Care Center

Written by Mayvilyn Cabigao · Updated Nov 09, 2021

Common Causes of UTI

Our urinary system is responsible for the production, storage, and elimination of fluid waste that is made by the kidneys. However, the functionality of your urinary system can be put at risk if you suffer from Urinary tract infection (UTI). But what are the common causes of UTI?

UTI is an infection that can take place in any part of your urinary system but is more common in the lower urinary tract (bladder and urethra). This condition most likely happens in women and can become severe if not treated immediately.

What are the Symptoms of UTI?

If you have UTI, then you might be experiencing the following symptoms:

  • The recurring urge to urinate but only voiding a little to nothing
  • Pain and burning sensation while urinating
  • Urine is unusually smelly or strong and appears cloudy
  • Pinkish tinged or bloody urine
  • Pain or pressure in the abdomen
  • The feeling of exhaustion and sudden confusion
  • If UTI reaches your kidneys, you might feel feverish and nauseous

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What are the Common Causes of UTI?

UTI happens when bacteria enters the urinary tract through the urethra and breeds in the bladder. If the urinary system fails to eliminate these bacteria, then they will continue to multiply, which results in infection.

What are the common causes of UTI? Here’s what you need to know:


All women are more at risk of UTI than men since a woman’s urethra is shorter, which makes it an easier entrance for bacteria. But women who are pregnant are more prone to UTI than others.

Pregnancy causes UTI as there are changes in a woman’s body that makes them more vulnerable to bacterial infections. UTI happens when a pregnant woman’s uterus grows, which puts more pressure on the bladder and urinary tract. This pressure makes it difficult for them to void properly, which means the bacteria in their bladder can’t be eliminated completely.

Sexual intercourse

There are different factors on how sexual intercourse can cause UTI. First, thrusting while having sex can introduce more bacteria up the urethra and into the bladder.

Second, sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea can trigger UTI. You can get STDs from having multiple sexual partners and by not practicing good after-sex hygiene.

Prostate problems

Men older than 50 are more vulnerable to prostate problems as well as UTI. Prostate problems like prostate gland enlargement can block the flow of urine coming from the bladder. When this happens, bacteria gets stuck in the bladder and continues to multiply, which results in UTI.


People with diabetes have weak immune systems that leave them unprotected from infections and other diseases. Diabetes can cause UTI due to high glucose levels and nerve problems.

Diabetics who suffer from nerve damage can find it difficult to urinate normally. This results in the retention of large amounts of urine in their bladder, which can set off UTI.


Stool build-up in the rectum and colon can press on the bladder and urinary tract, making it difficult for someone to empty their bladder completely. When urine is left in the bladder for too long, bacteria will grow and cause infection.


Menopause can cause UTI since hormonal changes can alter the balance of bacteria in a woman’s vagina. In addition, there are changes in their reproductive organs like the urethra, which makes it more susceptible to UTI.


Old age can cause UTI since older people are more vulnerable to infections due to poor immunity. They can easily develop UTI as they may have difficulty reaching the restroom and emptying their bladder.

Urinary catheters

Those people who are in the hospital, bedridden, or are incapable of visiting the restroom by themselves use urinary catheters to collect urine. However, a urinary catheter is also an easy access point for bacteria to travel up the urinary tract.

A urinary catheter can also gather bacteria before it is inserted, or it can accumulate bacteria during its time in the bladder.

Urinary procedures

Invasive surgeries or procedures within the urinary system can make one more prone to UTI. Surgeries that involve the urinary system include kidney removal (nephrectomy), bladder surgery, and surgery of the urethra.

How to prevent UTI?

To prevent UTI, you need to:

  • Stay hydrated so your urinary system can properly flush out toxins from your body.
  • Avoid delaying your visit to the toilet so your urine will not accumulate in your bladder.
  • Practice proper hygiene when urinating and after sex
  • When cleaning their vagina, women are recommended to wipe from front to back to avoid bacteria from reaching the urethra.
  • Treat underlying conditions, such as constipation and kidney stones.
  • Avoid using feminine products that can irritate the urethra.
  • Seek medical attention immediately once you feel the symptoms of UTI.
  • Do not self medicate and consult your doctor for medical prescriptions.

Key Takeaways

UTI is a common problem that anyone can experience. Knowing what are the common causes of UTI can help you prevent it from occurring.

Schedule a visit to your doctor as soon as you feel symptoms of UTI. Doing this will decrease the chances of the UTI developing into something more severe. Remember to take your medications and do all preventive measures that can help get rid of your UTI as quickly as possible.

Learn more about Urological Health and UTI, here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Elfred Landas, MD

General Practitioner · Maxicare Primary Care Center

Written by Mayvilyn Cabigao · Updated Nov 09, 2021

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