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What Are the Causes of Urination Problems?

Urinary tract infections -- usually caused by a bacterial invasion of the urethra -- can interfere with a woman's ability to urinate.
Kidney stones are responsible for many urination problems.
Antibiotics can be prescribed to treat a urinary tract infection, which can cause frequent urination and burning.
Urinary tract infections begin when microorganisms enter the urethra.
Kidney disease and urinary tract infections can cause frequent urination.
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  • Written By: Susan Grindstaff
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 20 December 2014
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The causes of urination problems depend on the specific type of urinary difficulty. Some common urination problems are pain and burning when urinating and frequent urination. Both of these can often be caused by urinary tract or kidney infections. Another common urination problem is stress incontinence, which is usually caused by a weak bladder or weakness of the muscles that control urine. Kidney stones are also responsible for many urination problems.

Urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria entering into the urinary tract through the urethra, and these infections can cause a wide range of urination problems. The urethra is a tube that goes from the bladder and ends in the genitals, and is used to dispense urine outside the body. A great deal of bacteria is usually present in the area of the genitals, and it is not unusual for these bacteria to enter the urethra. Urinary track infections are much more common in women, because the opening to the urethra is in such close proximity to the anus, another high bacterial area.

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Sometimes bladder infections spread to the kidneys. When this happens, the symptoms include burning and pain while urinating, and in many cases include a low throbbing backache. In both kidney and urinary tract infections, the urine is often cloudy and may even contain traces of blood. Urinary tract infections and kidney infections are usually treated with antibiotics and sulfur medications. In most cases, with treatment, these infections clear up within a few days.

Stress incontinence describes a condition of being unable to control the urge to urinate. It is usually an age-related condition and is much more common in women than in men. In many cases, stress incontinence is caused by weakening of the muscles that control urination. These muscles can be weakened by childbirth, or can sometimes be a normal part of the aging process. Sometimes exercises to strengthen pelvic muscles improve the condition.

Kidney stones are hard masses of crystallized acid that separate from the urine while it is still in the kidneys, and they are considered the most painful of all urination problems. Affecting both men and women, these stones are extremely painful, regardless of their size. Larger stones sometimes have to be dissolved for them to pass through the urinary tract. Sometimes stones will dissolve when excessive amounts of water are consumed, but in some cases, shock wave therapy may be necessary. Though it is rare, occasionally kidney stones must be surgically removed.

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croydon
Post 3

My mother has had problems with what she calls an overactive bladder.

She told me it happened after she gave birth to my sister who was her third child. It was a longer, more difficult birth than the rest of us and afterwards mum said she had a lot of trouble holding it in if she was coughing or laughing too hard or even running.

She blames that for her loss of fitness as she used to love running, but she hasn't done it in years.

She was too embarrassed to tell anyone about it, until she finally confessed to me and I made her go to a doctor. And he told her to try doing kegel exercises which have really helped.

If you have the same problem don't just live in shame. Tell a doctor and get it treated. It's a really common problem, much more common than you might think.

KoiwiGal
Post 2

@browncoat - If you sister isn't fond of drinking plain water but likes soda, a good compromise might be for her to drink cranberry juice, as that's well known as a means of preventing bladder infections. Supposedly it makes it more difficult for the bacteria to stick to your insides.

She'll just have to make sure she gets the kind that will actually help her, without lots of sugar. There are way too many so-called juices out there that are only really colored corn syrup and which will probably do the opposite of what she might want.

Bladder problems aren't always so simple though. If she still has lots of problems she should go and get checked by a doctor. Until she does that she can't be sure there isn't some real problem with her bladder that can be fixed by medication rather than preventative home cures.

browncoat
Post 1

My sister has had problems with her bladder her whole life. I think it was quite weak when she was a child and unfortunately, she was always the kid that smelled a bit in class which made things hard for her.

As an adult, she'd doing much better, but she is still prone to terrible infections which can lead to fever if she doesn't deal with them quickly.

Unfortunately, even though she knows what she should be doing to deal with the infections, to prevent and treat them, she tends to ignore her own better judgement.

Corn syrup seems to be the thing that brings them on, but she has such a sweet tooth, it's difficult for her to refrain from drinking sodas and eating sweets.

She also knows she can prevent it by drinking lots of water, but she tends to go running and not re-hydrate enough afterwards.

I think often bladder infections are preventable, it's just a matter of figuring out what causes them and then making sure that you don't indulge in those kinds of triggers.

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