Merck Manual

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Factors Contributing to Bacterial Urinary Tract Infections

Factors Contributing to Bacterial Urinary Tract Infections

Infections beginning in the urinary tract

  • Blockage (for example, by stones) anywhere in the urinary tract

  • Abnormal bladder function that prevents proper emptying, such as occurs in neurologic diseases

  • Leaking of the valve-like mechanism between the ureter and the bladder, allowing urine and bacteria to flow backward from the bladder up the ureters, possibly reaching the kidneys (more common among children who have a UTI)

  • Insertion of a urinary catheter or any instrument by a doctor

  • Sexual intercourse

  • Use of a diaphragm with spermicide

  • Presence of an abnormal connection (fistula) between the vagina and the bladder or the intestine and the bladder

Infections spread to the urinary tract from the blood (uncommon)

UTI = urinary tract infection.