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Urinary Tract Infections in Teens and Adults

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Cause

Bacteria that enter the urethra and travel up the urinary tract camera.gif are the usual cause of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Bacteria that normally live in the large intestine camera.gif and are present in feces (stool) are the most common source of infection. Sexual intercourse may move bacteria into the urinary tract, especially in women. Catheters, which are small, flexible tubes inserted into the bladder to allow urine to drain, are a common source of bacterial infection in people who are in hospitals or who live in long-term care facilities.

Sometimes bacteria traveling through the blood or lymph system cause kidney or bladder infections.

Kidney stones, an enlarged prostate in men, and structural problems in the urinary tract can contribute to UTIs by limiting the body's ability to eliminate urine completely.

Women who have repeated UTIs may have inherited genes that make them more likely to get these infections.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 13, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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