Urinary-tract Infections

More females than males suffer from urinary tract infection. Various sources suggest that at least 20 percent of the women get infected at least once in their lives. It is comparatively rare in men. However, when they do get it, it could be more complicated and may indicate underlying urological problems requiring prolonged and more intense treatment. For a detailed study of UTI in men, please refer to Harper & Fowlis.

The following discussion addresses mainly females because they are the most affected lot; and could easily avoid being infected if they knew certain simple facts about this debilitating disease.


The common symptoms are frequent urge to urinate and burning sensation while urinating. There may also be pains in the bones of the area, vomiting or vomiting sensation and fever. (Many sources). It often enters a chronic stage and may cause mild to major problems if timely and proper medical care is not provided. For details of UTI visit NIDDK and National Kidney Foundation.

The common type

The most common form of urinary tract infection (UTI) is caused by a trespasser. It is the bacterium Escherichia coli, which does not belong to the urinary tract at all. Escherichia coli is actually a common inhabitant of the intestinal tract; and an occasional proliferation of virulent forms cause intestinal disorders. How does this intestinal parasite affect the urinary tract? Read on.

Mode of transmission to the urinary tract

Unfortunately this bacterium is often inadvertently transferred from the intestinal tract into the urinary tract through ignorance of or negligence of the person concerned, in personal hygiene. UTI is more common in females because of the much shorter distance from the anus to the urinary opening. How?

Since the shorter distance between anal and urinary openings (in females) makes it easier for the infection to be transferred from anal area to the urinary tract, the methods used by people in cleaning after toilet are crucial. Three methods are common. The first method, widely prevalent in most western countries, is using toilet paper to wipe. The second method, widely adopted in many other parts of the world, is using hand and water to clean after toilet. In the third method, which is becoming increasingly popular, cleaning is accomplished  with water but without touching the body parts (click here to see).

The first two methods of cleaning after toilet aid in transmitting E. coli to the urinary tract when proper precaution is not taken while cleaning. How?

Method 1 (using hand and water)

If one washes the anus first and then the front part, E. coli can easily get transferred to the urinary tract through the fingers.

Method 2 (using toilet paper)

If one wipes from back to front, E. coli can get easily transferred from the anal region to the urinary tract through the toilet paper.

Once the germ gets inside the urinary tract, it may multiply and cause urinary tract infection.


Practise wise personal hygiene for the private parts; and teach your children how to do so, too. When you wash your under parts after toilet, be careful not to touch the front part after touching the anal region. If you have to, you should wash your hands first with soap and water. As for those who use toilet tissue paper for cleaning, especially the females, must learn the habit of wiping only from front to back so that the probability of unwanted germs reaching the urinary tract is minimized. Make sure to wash your hands with soap and water after using the toilet (both who use toilet paper or water). Men, too, could avoid this and some other infections by following better personal hygiene.

Visit the following pages of this website for additional information:


Consult your doctor

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Ladies may visit this site for additional information. Those who have children, take a look at this website.

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