Because of the difference in the length of the urethra, the female’s being much shorter, it is easier for bacteria from the outside world to get into the bladder.
- Although most patients think of Ecoli as a very bad bacteria, it is actually the most common cause of bladder infections.
- The most common source of bacteria causing a bladder infection is the person’s own body.
- That is why in females with recurrent urinary infections the urologist will commonly prescribe a low dose antibiotic to take after sexual intercourse.
- The reason females get urinary tract infections more commonly than males is due to the difference in the length of the urethra.
- As seen in the above diagram, the female urethra is much shorter than the males.
- As a result it is easier for bacteria to get into the bladder and and then multiply to cause the symptoms of a bladder infection.
- In a male by the time the bacteria gets in the urethra and begins its travel to the bladder, the male may void and hence wash out the offending bacteria before it can become a true infection.
- An infection in a male is viewed more seriously than in a female for the above reasons.
- Suppressive therapy (a small amount of an antibiotic daily), self treatment protocol (the patient treats herself with a short course of antibiotics at the earliest sign of an infection), or post coital therapy (a pill after sex) are all methods used to manage recurrent urinary tract infections in a female.
- The lack of estrogen in the post menopausal female can contribute to infections and this too is addressed in the female with recurrent urinary tract infections.
The urologists at Northeast Georgia Urological Associates treat recurrent urinary infections in both the male and female on a daily basis. Feel free to contact us for an evaluation if this is an issue for you.
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