Germs (also called bacteria or micro-organisms) do not normally live in the urinary tract. When they enter the urinary tract and multiply, they can cause an infection.
There are many germs that can cause urinary tract infections. The most common, Esherichia coli (E.coli), is found in the digestive system.
E.coli is able to easily spread to the urethra where it sticks to the lining of the urinary system.
Other germs, such as mycoplasma and chlamydia, can cause inflammation of the urethra in both men and women. These can be passed on during sexual intercourse.
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