Understanding Urinary Tract Infections

To understand the urinary tract and infections in that area, you must first know what the urinary tract is. It is a grouping of organs that produce, hold, and release urine. The bladder, the kidneys, and the urethra are all included in this grouping.

Another way that you can think of kidneys is as a chemical filter for your blood. Roughly 25% of the blood that is pumped by the heart finds its way through the kidneys. It is the job of the kidneys to filter this blood and separate the excess sugar, minerals, and those other chemicals, not to mention waste products as well. The kidney also helps control blood pressure too since it sees a lot of the blood flow throughout the body. Some of the water and minerals are kept or discarded, depending on your blood pressure.

The urine is comprised of those extras and waste. The urine goes through the ureters, and then into the bladder. It is kept in the bladder until you are ready to go to the bathroom and dispose of it. Once you begin to urinate, the muscles found in the wall of the bladder help to guide the urine out of the bladder, and eventually through the urethra and out of your body. When you are not ready to go to the bathroom, there is a muscle known as the sphincter that squeezes the urethra and keeps urine from leaving the body. When you go to the bathroom, that same muscle relaxes to make urination easier.

Most of the time, urine is sterile, which means that it normally will not have bacteria in it. Which is how you want it to be, because the mineral content that can be found in urine makes it incredibly easy for bacteria to grow in the urine. Most of the time, there are a few things that keep bacteria out of the urine, which are:

-The sphincter in the urethra, which does not allow bacteria to climb to the urethra from the outside opening of the bladder when the urethra is closed shut.
-The length of the urethra also comes into play, that is a long way for bacteria to travel, and it is even longer of a journey in men and boys than it is girls and women. That is why women are more likely to get UTI’s than men.
-Frequent urination is also one of the reasons why bacteria has a hard time traveling that distance, as most people release all of their urine when they go to the bathroom. Therefore it washes out any of the bacteria that started the journey.

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