Women are more likely to get UTIs because the tube that goes from the bladder to the outside (the urethra) is much shorter than in men. Because the urethral opening is closer to the anus in women, it’s easier for bacteria from stool to get into their urethra. Contact and fluids spread during sex also make it easier for bacteria from the vagina and anus to get into the urethra.

In men, a bladder infection is almost always a symptom of another condition. Often, the infection has moved from the prostate or some other part of the body. Or it may mean that a stone, tumour, or something else is blocking the urinary tract.

Chronic kidney infections sometimes happen because of a structural problem that allows urine to flow from the bladder back to the kidneys or because the bladder doesn’t empty completely. These problems are often found at an early age, but they affect adults, too.

In rare cases, UTIs can happen because there's an abnormal connection between the bladder or urethra and another organ or passageway like the intestines or uterus.

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