What is a UTI?
A UTI (urinary tract infection) is an infection in any part of your urinary system. While bladder infections are the most common type, a UTI can develop in any part of your urinary tract including your urethra, ureters, or kidneys. (1)
Over eight million people visit healthcare practitioners every year for UTIs. (2) Many occur from bacteria from the bowel. Fungi and viruses can also create these infections. Two strains of bacteria — Escherichia coli or E. coli and Staphylococcus saprophyticus — create about 80% of UTIs. (3)
These bacteria can go from the anus to the urethra, traveling up to your bladder and eventually the kidneys. Women have shorter urethras, allowing bacteria to more quickly invade the bladder. (4)
This explains why women are more likely to get a UTI. Some experts believe one in two women will get UTIs during their lifetime, and some will have repeated UTIs that sometimes last for years. (5) Especially for younger men, UTIs are rare but do increase with age. (6)