If you’ve ever had a urinary tract infection, then you recognize the affliction of that horrible burning feeling and incessant need to pee—and you’d probably do something to avoid getting another.
According to the national Kidney foundation, 1 in 5 girls reports a UTI at some point in her life. And while men can get them, too (UTIs are the second most common infection), girls are much more likely to contract one, says the country wide Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney diseases. It’s due to the fact we’ve a shorter urethra, which makes all of it too easy for UTI-causing bacteria to pass through it and invade the bladder. No fair.
“Our urinary tract system is designed to maintain out bacteria; however, these defenses can fail,” says Kelly M. Kasper, MD, an ob-gyn at Indiana university health. “When that occurs, bacteria can develop and multiply and cause infections.”
If you switch your birth control, the resulting hormone shift could lead to a change in normal bacteria in your vagina, which could up the odds of a UTI, says Hawes. Use of diaphragms and spermicides can also increase your chances of developing one, Kasper adds.
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