Q: What is a UTI?
Marla Ahlgrimm: A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or urethra or any combination of these four parts that make up the urinary tract.
Q: How does the urinary tract become infected?
Marla Ahlgrimm: There are over half a dozen known causes of UTIs. The most common are improper bathroom habits – wiping the wrong way, sexual intercourse, holding urine for extended periods, full or partial urinary tract blockages, diabetes, catheter usage, and diaphragm birth control. Spermicides have also been linked to UTIs. Any time bacteria is introduced into the vagina, there is the possibility it could develop into an infection. Post-menopausal women are at a higher risk of UTIs as their bodies do not produce enough estrogen, which has a protective effect.