What causes a bladder infection

A bladder infection is usually caused by bacteria. Often, the bacteria lives in the intestines and enter the bladder through the urethra. Normally we loose the bacteria washing it away during urination. But sometimes, if we don’t empty the bladder entirely, there remains some bacteria. Also, a blockade can cause difficulties in completely emptying the bladder. A block caused by e.g. a kidney stone or an enlarged prostate. Also diabetes or a sexually transmitted disease can cause a cystitis. However, the most common cause is the Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria.

glas waterSummarized these can be the causes for a cystitis:
– Infection with an intestinal bacteria (E. coli)
– Sex or sexually transmitted disease (STD)
– Kidney stones
– Enlargement of the prostate
– Hygiene
– Too little to drink

Infection with the E-coli bacterium.
This is the most common cause of cystitis. Escherichia coli or E. coli is a group of bacteria which is naturally present in the intestines of humans and animals. In the large intestine, E. coli is useful, because it prevents outgrowth from other harmful bacteria. However, outside of the gut is a mean bug that can move via the urethra into the bladder to cause an infection.

The distance between the anus, the vagina and the entrance of the urethra is small in women. As a result, bacteria can more easily come into the vagina or the urethra. If they reach the bladder through the urethra, the bacteria grows rapidly. They attach themselves to the bladder wall and cause an infection. In women, the urethra is shorter than in men, because of this the chance of a bladder infection in a woman is bigger than for a man.

Sex or a sexually transmitted disease (STD)
Now do not immediately go into a celibate life. During sex bacteria can more easily get into the urethra by the motion we tend to make. Sometimes you just need to get used to the germs of the new partner. Changing partners though may increase the chances of a bladder infection. Also we tend to have more and vehement sex during the beginning of a new relationship. The condom doesn’t prevent bladder infection caused by this, but of course will prevent a bladder infection by an STD or getting a STD in general. The bladder is mainly infected due to a chlamydia. For women it is hard to make a distinction in symptoms. If you think you have chlamydia than always check your GP. Better safe than sorry.

Kidney stones
A blockage of the urinary tract, for example a kidney stone, can make emptying the bladder difficult. The consequence of this is that urine remains in the bladder. Bacteria will have the time of their life and multiply rapidly.

Diabetes
People with diabetes can get a cystitis more easy. Research (Prof. dr. A. Hoepelman) has revealed that the bacterium can attach 3 times better to the bladder wall then if you are without diabetes. The white blood cells will have more difficulty to arrive at their destination.

Prostate
As with kidney stones an enlarged prostate can be the cause for some kind of blockage. Imagine that the prostate is a sponge with small channels that fits into a rubber band. With age of the man, the prostate gets bigger, but not rubber band. The rubber band squeezes the canals making it harder to start to urinate and the flow is less powerful. The consequence can be that urine remains in the bladder.

Hygiene
Using too much soap, shampoos and or special cleaners is not recommended. Less is better in this case. Washing with clean water is in fact sufficient. This will keep the pH value at a normal level. Also, synthetic underwear provide a brooding environment, ensuring an ideal environment for the bacteria to rapidly grow.

Drink
We all know that we have to drink enough. One and a half up to two liters is the general opinion. Even if you don’t drink enough urine will be produced, because this is the only means of transportation for the waste the liver and kidneys are filtering out of our blood. The problem is that it will be less and remains in the bladder for much longer. The signal the bladder is full will take much longer. A beautiful environment for bacteria to multiply in peace. By drinking enough the bladder will rinse itself. By drinking Buchu tea the bladder will benefit from its disinfecting capabilities and help the bladder to stay healthy.

This article is purely informative. If you think you have a bladder infection, consult your GP!

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