What is UTI?

Tess Thompson



UTI is an acronym for Urinary Tract Infection and before understanding what UTI is, a proper understanding of the functioning of the excretory system of our body will not be out of place.

During normal metabolism, body cells produce wastes like carbon dioxide and urea. Blood that contains waste enters the kidneys that remove urea, excess water and other harmful substances from it. Purified blood returns to circulation and the wastes are excreted. The fluid that remains, urine, leaves each kidney through a tube, ureter, into a sac like organ called the bladder. The bladder stores urine until it can be released from the body. When you urinate, the bladder muscles help push urine out through the urethra and out. In men urethra passes through the penis and in women it opens just in front of the vagina. A muscle squeezes the bladder shut to keep urine in and relaxes to facilitate urination.

The urinary tract comprises of organs from the kidneys to the urethra. Any infection in this tract is called UTI and necessitates a bladder infection treatment and/or urinary tract infection cure.

Infections in the urinary tract are the second most common type of infection that affects millions of people numerous times during lifetime. Women, for reasons not yet established by researchers, are more prone to UTI than men. Twenty percent of women visit a doctor at least once in a lifetime for urinary tract infection cure. UTI may be less common amongst men but when it occurs, it can be very serious.

Urine is normally sterile but the sugar and mineral content of urine can make bacteria grow in it. Your body is structured in a way that keeps bacteria out of the urine. When the urinary bladder muscles are slapped shut, bacteria cannot enter through the outside opening. The length of urethra ensures that it is a long way up to the bladder. One reason why women are more prone to UTI, therefore, could be the shorter length of their urethra.

Secondly, the very process of urination results in recurrent flushing out of any bacteria that may have accidentally entered the urethra. Also as we normally empty our bladder completely whenever we urinate, this results in flushing out any bacteria that may have reached the bladder. But the chances of UTI occurring enhance to a great degree when, due to certain factors the bladder cannot be emptied fully or when we hold in urine for a longer period of time.

Thirdly, valves at the point where the ureter enters the bladder prevent urine from going back into the kidneys so that even if the bladder or urine are infected, they cannot travel up to the kidneys.

In men, the prostrate gland produces secretions that slow bacterial growth and in both sexes, the body’s immune defenses prevent UTI.

Despite all the physiological deterrents, bacteria does manage to enter the urinary tract by moving upward (from the outside opening of the urethra) or downward (from the blood stream to kidneys) and causing UTI which requires urinary tract infection cure and/ or bladder infection treatment.

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