Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are incredibly common, especially among women. They are also the second most common infection after the common cold and affect over fifty percent of women during their lives. While these infections don't always cause symptoms, they can cause pain, burning while peeing, and an urgent need to go to the bathroom. UTIs can also spread from the bladder to the kidneys and even the blood, and lead to serious complications if they are left untreated. Once an individual has had a single UTI, they are more likely to get another. Some women even have chronic urinary tract infections. There are many possible causes of a urinary tract infection, but the following are most common.
Many diseases and medical conditions actually increase the risk of developing a UTI, and one of the most common is diabetes. Individuals with diabetes that is not well controlled are twice as likely to develop a urinary tract infection because the sugar in urine promotes the growth of harmful bacteria. Kidney stones can also make a urinary tract infection more likely. According to one study, eight percent of individuals with kidney stones also had a UTI. Many of the symptoms of kidney stones also mimic the symptoms of a urinary tract infection, such as pain while peeing and an urgent need to go to the bathroom.
There may be other conditions that can make a UTI more likely, such as having a shorter urethra or other urinary tract abnormalities or having a 'lazy bladder' that does not empty fully. Any disease that affects the immune system, which is the body's defense against infection, may also raise the risk of a UTI.