6 Habits that cause bladder infections you might not be aware of

6 Habits that cause bladder infections you might not be aware of - Underleak


Bladder infections, also known as urinary tract infections (UTIs), can cause discomfort and disrupt your daily life. Recognizing the signs of a bladder infection is crucial in order to seek timely treatment. The most common symptoms include:


  • Painful urination: One of the telltale signs of a bladder infection is experiencing pain or a burning sensation while urinating. This occurs due to the inflammation and irritation caused by the infection.
  • Frequent urge to urinate: Bladder infections often lead to an increased need to urinate. You may find yourself visiting the bathroom more frequently than usual, even if only small amounts of urine are passed.
  • Cloudy or strong-smelling urine: Another symptom of a bladder infection is the appearance of cloudy urine with a strong odor. This is a result of the presence of bacteria in the urinary tract.
  • Lower abdominal pain: Bladder infections can cause pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen. This may feel like pressure or cramping and is often accompanied by a general feeling of malaise.
  • Causes

    The two primary causes are bacterial invasion and urinary tract abnormalities.


    Urinary tract abnormalities,Bacterial invasion

    Bacterial invasion

    Ecoli, typically found in the intestines, is the main cause of bladder infections as it can enter the urinary tract via the urethra. Other bacteria like Klebsiella, Proteus, and Enterococcus can also cause these infections.

    Bacteria can enter the urinary tract through improper hygiene, sexual activity, and catheter use. Women are more prone due to a shorter urethra-anus distance.

    Urinary tract abnormalities

    Structural abnormalities such as urinary stones, kidney reflux, and enlarged prostate increase bladder infection risk.

    Conditions affecting complete bladder emptying like urinary retention or neurogenic bladder can allow bacteria to thrive.

    Other abnormalities like urethral strictures, urinary tract tumors, and vesicoureteral reflux also contribute to bladder infections.

    Habits that cause bladder infections

    There are several habits that can contribute to bladder infections, such as:

    Habits that cause bladder infections
    1. Poor Hydration: Lack of adequate water intake can lead to bladder infections. Water helps dilute urine and ensures that you urinate more frequently, flushing out bacteria before it can infect the urinary tract. Without enough water, bacteria can easily multiply and cause an infection.
    2. Holding Urine for Long Periods: Regular urination helps to remove bacteria from the urinary tract. However, when urine stays in the bladder for a long time, it can become a breeding ground for bacteria, increasing the risk of infections.
    3. Improper Wiping: For women, the urethra is close to the anus, making it easy for bacteria from the intestinal tract to accidentally enter the urethra. Wiping from back to front can transfer bacteria to the urinary tract, leading to an infection.
    4. Using Irritating Feminine Products: Certain feminine hygiene products like douches, powders, and deodorant sprays can irritate the urethra. This irritation can disrupt the urethra's normal defenses against bacteria, increasing the risk of bladder infections.
    5. Insufficient Emptying of the Bladder: Not completely emptying the bladder when you urinate can allow urine to sit in the bladder, providing a perfect environment for bacteria to grow and cause an infection.
    6. Sexual Activity: Sexual activity can introduce bacteria into a woman's urethra due to the physical manipulation and proximity to the anus. If proper hygiene is not observed after sexual activity, this can increase the risk of a bladder infection.

    These 6 habits might serve as indirect causes that lead to bladder infections. Along with that, there are other factors that you should be aware of.


    Women have a higher risk of developing bladder infections compared to men due to their anatomy. 

    After menopause, changes in hormone levels can cause the thinning of vaginal tissues and a decrease in protective bacteria, which can increase the risk of bladder infections in postmenopausal women.

    Age-related factors

    Children and older adults may be more susceptible to bladder infections due to factors such as incomplete bladder emptying, weakened immune systems, or difficulties with personal hygiene.

    Medical Conditions

    Individuals with diabetes are more prone to bladder infections due to elevated blood sugar levels, which provide an ideal environment for bacterial growth. Poorly controlled diabetes can further increase this risk.

    Certain medical conditions or treatments that weaken the immune system, such as HIV/AIDS or chemotherapy, can make individuals more susceptible to bladder infections.

    Early Prevention

    Hydration and urinary habits

    Taking proactive steps to prevent bladder infections is crucial for maintaining optimal bladder health. Here are some tips that can help reduce the risk:

    Hydration and urinary habits

    Stay hydrated by drinking adequate water (at least eight glasses daily) to flush bacteria from the urinary tract. Don't hold in urine for too long as it can cause bacteria to multiply. Always urinate before and after sexual activity to eliminate any bacteria that may have entered the urinary tract.

    Good hygiene practices

    Use mild soap and water when washing the genital area. Avoid harsh soaps or douches that can disrupt the natural bacterial balance. Also, avoid using scented products like bubble baths or feminine hygiene sprays that can irritate the urinary tract.

    Lifestyle adjustments

    Choose underwear and clothing made from breathable fabrics like cotton to reduce moisture and prevent bacterial growth. Consider adding cranberry products like juice or supplements to your diet as they may help prevent bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract walls.

    In summary, bladder infections are preventable by maintaining good hygiene, staying hydrated, and making lifestyle changes. If you suspect an infection, seek medical advice promptly to avoid complications.

    Reading next

    Urinary Retention: Symptoms & Causes - Underleak
    Underlying Causes of Frequent Urination - Underleak

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