Infection of the lower urinary tract occurs when the inner lining of the bladder becomes infected and the urine is full of bacteria. In pregnancy, 5 – 10% of women have bacteria in their bladder and some will have no symptoms at all.
Up to 40 – 50% of women will have at least one attack in their lifetime and 25% will have recurrences.
- Bacteria can reach the bladder from the genital and anal area, or through the bloodstream.
- Injury to the urethra or the bladder.
- Prolonged use of a urinary catheter to empty the bladder, such as during childbirth or surgery.
- Sexual activity.
- Infection in other parts of the genitourinary system.
- Poor hygiene.
- Diabetes mellitus.
- Underlying abnormalities of the urinary tract, such as tumours, calculi (stones), and strictures.
- Incomplete bladder emptying.
- During or after major surgery