Last month when I put out a survey for men, asking what questions they had about women’s health, I received many fantastic inquiries. Men brought up topics that ranged from PMS to physiology and pleasure to politics. If you assumed your male acquaintances were completely squeamish or simply inclined to tune out when confronted with details about the inner workings of a woman’s reproductive organs, you would be wrong! Not only have many men been paying attention to hype about hormones, publications on clitoral stimulation and health conditions that affect women, but they are also genuinely interested in the reasons a woman’s body behaves in the way it does.
This article is in response to one of the questions raised: Why do women get bladder infections?
Bladder infections, or Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) occur when bacteria from the bowels that live in the rectal or vaginal area (often E.Coli), travel up the urethra and into the bladder. Because the opening of the urethra is located very close to the anus and the vagina, it is not difficult for bacteria to spread from one orifice to the next.
There are a variety of activities/circumstances that can cause a UTI (also called cystitis):
1. Anatomy. Some women are more prone to UTIs than others simply due to their individual anatomy. If a woman's vaginal canal and urethra are especially close together or her urethral passage is especially short, it can make spread of bacteria to the bladder easier. These measurements and positions also explain why women are more likely to contract bladder infections than men - men have a longer passageway between their urethra and their bladder and less chance of spreading fecal matter or other bacteria into the urethral opening.
It is also possible that women who believe they are experiencing repeated UTIs actually have a condition called interstitial cystitis. This is an inflammation of the bladder, rather than an infection, that causes similar symptoms to a UTI - frequent, painful urination and possible blood or discoloration in the urine.