Is E. coli the cause of your UTI?

3 min read

Bacteria causing your UTIs can include E. coli and K. pneumoniae

According to a 2012 report in the Journal of infectious diseases, Escherichia coli or E.coli, is responsible for over 85% of all urinary tract infections.  Other bacteria that can cause UTIs include Klebsiella pneumoniae and Staphylococcus saprophyticus. If you’re always asking yourself, “why do I keep getting UTIs ?”, it’s highly likely these bacteria are the culprits. This article will discuss how these bacteria cause UTIs as well as tips for prevention.

 

Why is E.coli the most common offender?

E.coli is a bacteria that lives in our intestines. However, certain strains of this bacteria are pathogenic, which cause illnesses. When a stool makes its way through your large intestine and out of your anus, it makes the perineum (that area between your anus and your vulva) a reservoir for pathogenic bacteria such as E. coli. Bacteria then spread to the the opening of the urinary tract (your urethra). It can adhere to the urethra tube itself, causing urethritis, or  to the bladder, causing cystitis. Both urethritis and cystitis are lower urinary tract infections. For women, the urethra is situated within close proximity to the anus. Although the urethra is meant to carry urine from the bladder out of the body, women have shorter ones than men do, which shortens the distance bacteria must travel to reach the bladder.

 

Other bacteria that can cause UTIs:

Staphylococcus saprophyticus is another common culprit of urinary tract infections. S. saprophyticus is a component of our normal flora that colonizes the perineum, rectum, urethra, cervix, and gastrointestinal tract. S. saprophyticus is a common gastrointestinal flora in pigs and cows which can be transferred to humans through eating these respective foods.

Klebsiella pneumoniae is a bacterium that usually lives in your intestines, where it does not cause disease or infections. However, if K. pneumoniae gets into other areas, it can cause pneumonia, meningitis, wound infections and urinary tract infections. A K.pneumoniae infection is normally contracted in a hospital/ health care setting from contaminated breathing tubes, or catheter tubes. People with compromised immune systems like diabetes, or people undergoing a procedure are more prone to contracting a K.pneumoniae infection.

 

How do you lower the risk of getting a UTI?

Bathroom activity:

  • Wipe front to back to keep fecal matter away from your urethra. 
  • Pee when your bladder is full: don’t hold it in. Bacteria multiplies the longer urine is held in your bladder.
  • Avoid baths, showers are best.
  • Don’t douche or use feminine sprays.

Sexual activity:

  • Urinate after you have sex. If you don't have to go right away, drink a glass of water. It’s important to pee after sex because this is one way to flush out any bacteria that may have spread to your urethra during intercourse.
  • Avoid switching to vaginal intercourse right after anal sex. This directly introduces fecal bacteria to your vagina and urethra.  Always change the condom or make sure you and your partner wash the area with mild soap and water before mixing it up.
  • Clean your sex toys with mild, fragrance-free soap.
  • Use other birth control methods other than diaphragms.
  • Avoid spermicidal jelly.

 Last but not least: Drink plenty of water.

UTIs are caused by bacteria that naturally exist within our bodies’ microbiome. Because of this, it seems like UTIs are inescapable. If you’re doing everything in your power to prevent UTIs naturally, but you’re still having problems, Uqora is an effective and safe way to keep UTIs away.


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