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10 Cunning Causes of UTI You May Not Know About

November 17, 2022

When you have a UTI, you expect it to be caused by Escherichia coli (E.coli). You are not blamed for assuming this so — after all, this is the most common cause of urinary tract infections (UTIs). And when your UTI is due to E.coli, your doctor will usually put you on antibiotics to kill the bacteria and stop the infection from getting worse.

But what if your UTI was actually caused by another factor? One that’s rarely talked about?

In this article, we scoured the medical literature for studies that shed light on these infection mysteries and looked for the sneakiest UTI-causing factors. Here are ten potential culprits:


1. Eating sugary foods


Sugar is sometimes called “liquid candy” because it’s so sweet and delicious. And that’s exactly what happens to your body when you eat too much sugar: It turns into liquid candy and pools in your kidneys, making them more susceptible to bacterial infections. In fact, evidence shows UTIs are very common in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean you have to stop eating sugar altogether—just be careful not to overindulge in the stuff!


2. Having too much sex


The idea of too much sex as a cause of urinary tract infection (UTI) may be surprising. The truth is, though, that sexual activity can lead to the spread of bacteria that causes UTIs.

If you’re wondering why this happens, it’s because bacteria often travel up the urethra and into the bladder during sex. The longer your partner’s penis remains in your vagina after ejaculation and withdrawal, the more likely it is that bacteria will be transferred from your partner’s body to yours.

One study found that sexual intercourse is a strong predictor of UTI among generally healthy post-menopausal women.

If you’re concerned about UTI risk after having sex with a new partner, using condoms, washing before and after intercourse, and drinking plenty of water may help reduce your risk.


3. Not peeing after sex


After you have sex, your body releases an enzyme called prostate-specific antigen (PSA). PSA helps kill bacteria in the urinary tract, but if it doesn’t get flushed out right away, it can lead to an infection. So if you’re not peeing after sex (or using another method like birth control), you might end up with a UTI!


4. Holding your pee


If you have to go, it’s best to just go—don’t wait for the perfect time or place to do so. Because not only does holding in your pee increase the risk of a UTI, but it also reduces the amount of urine that’s available to flush out bacteria from your urethra.

A 2022 study has shown that holding back urine and having a fussy attitude toward the use of public facilities are significantly associated with UTIs.

So next time you’re tempted to hold your pee, don’t! Just go and carry your toiletries with you all the time!


5. Using a diaphragm


Diaphragm birth control is an internal method of contraception that uses an elastic dome-shaped cover to block sperm from entering your uterus during sex. Sounds pretty great, right? It does have some serious drawbacks, though—like making it easier for bacteria to get up into your bladder and cause infection.

If the bacteria get into your urethra, they can cause an infection called cystitis (bladder infection), one of the most common types of urinary tract infections (UTIs).


6. Using condoms


When you use condoms, the friction from the latex can cause tiny tears in your skin. These tears allow bacteria to enter your urethra, which is the tube that connects your bladder to the outside world. Once inside, they can cause an infection.

It’s a good idea to use condoms as a preventative measure against STDs like HIV and gonorrhoea—but if you’re already likely to get UTIs, it’s important to take precautions when using them so that you don’t end up with an added complication!


7. Dehydration


Dehydration is a common cause of urinary tract infections. It is also one of the most easily preventable causes, yet often overlooked as a potential reason for UTIs.

A 2018 study revealed women who drank their usual amount of water plus 1.5 litres more had 50% fewer episodes of cystitis than those who did not consume additional fluids.

If you’re feeling dehydrated, take a break from the heat and spend some time sipping water and eating hydrating foods. Drinking enough water each day will not only help to prevent UTIs, but it will also keep your kidneys healthy.


8. Pregnancy


UTIs are a common condition among women of all ages, but it’s important to remember that they’re especially prevalent in pregnant women.

So what causes this spike in UTIs during pregnancy? The answer is simple: hormones. When women reach menopause, their hormone levels drop back down, and their risk of developing a UTI drops significantly. But when women are pregnant or breastfeeding, their hormone levels remain elevated for an extended period of time—and this puts them at higher risk for developing UTIs.


9. Wiping from back to front


That’s right: If you wipe from back to front after going to the bathroom, you’re doing it wrong. And that could be a contributing factor to your UTI.

The bacteria that cause UTIs love it when you wipe from back to front because they have a lot of time to grow in the moist environment between your butt cheeks before reaching their final destination.

Wiping from back to front also causes UTIs by increasing friction against the area where urine exits. So what should you do? Next time, start wiping from front to back!


10. Wearing tight clothing around your waist or legs


When you wear clothing that is too tight, it makes it harder for your kidneys to pass urine out of your body. This causes more pressure on the bladder and urethra—the tubes that carry urine from your kidneys to your bladder and outside your body—making them more prone to infection.

If you’re experiencing pain in these areas, try loosening up the waistband and let those sensitive organs breathe!




Ciphering out UTI is a daunting task for many, especially for first-time sufferers. Whichever UTI cause you have, it’s best to see your doctor immediately.

In addition, getting a UTI is never fun, but your diet can come to the rescue to prevent another one from happening. Eat a healthy diet, keep your stomach full and your urine clean and clear, and you could be one urinary tract infection closer to prevention!

Contact us today for a diverse range of ready-made meal options to match your health goals.

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