Medical Q&As

Urinary infections

I am a 23 year old female and have had a second urinary infection in just a few weeks. I am very worried that there might be something seriously wrong with me that is causing this to happen. What could be wrong with me?

It is most likely that you are perfectly healthy with no underlying disease. Urinary infections are more common in women than in men simply because of the anatomical differences between the sexes. It is easy for bacteria to enter the female urinary system because they only have a short journey to travel from the surface of the body through the urethra and into the bladder. Once the bacteria enter the bladder they are now situated in a dark, warm and moist environment which is an ideal location for them to flourish. It is not unusual for a female to suffer several urinary infections in a lifetime without any underlying disease. In your case it is possible that the last infection may simply have been suppressed and not eradicated. This would allow the bacteria to recover and cause a further infection once treatment has stopped. Are you sure that you took the full course of treatment because failure to complete the course can result in a relapse of infection? Certainly if you are suffering from more frequent relapses this needs to be assessed by your GP. Such an assessment is precautionary and usually establishes that there is no underlying disease.