What Causes Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)?

Contrary to what some believe, urinary tract infections (UTIs) are not caused by “extra” bacteria getting into the bladder, but by the bacteria that does not get out. A person with a healthy urine flow should be able to flush all bacteria out of the bladder normally each time they urinate. A strong and steady urine flow naturally cleanses the urinary tract and surrounding area of unwanted bacteria. However, if something is inhibiting normal urination, that’s when bacteria can be trapped inside the urinary tract, leading to a urinary tract infection (UTI).

Some key factors that can negatively affect urination and the force of the stream that is necessary to flush the bacteria out of the body naturally include:

  • Dehydration (i.e. not drinking enough water)
  • Certain birth control methods, such as those inserted into the vagina (i.e. diaphragm,) and external lubricants containing Non-oxyl-9 which can cause localized irritation/allergic reaction
  • Existing infections in the uretho-genital area (i.e. vaginitits)
  • General irritation to the urethra and its opening (i.e. friction during sexual intercourse, wearing tight undergarments, etc.)
  • Abnormal anatomical structure of the pelvis
  • Kidney stones (i.e. often the result of chronic urinary tract infections)
  • Body changes caused by menopause
  • Poor posture or back injury/strain caused by carrying heavy items daily or wearing high heeled shoes regularly