Virtually every person with a vagina will experience a urinary tract infection at least once in their lives, in part because of biological reasons. The urethra of people with vaginas happens to be shorter than that of people with penises, and it's easier for bacteria from the anus to spread to the urethra. "Acute cystitis, aka a bladder infection,is one of the most common infections in women," Dr. Valeria Fabre, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University, tells Bustle. "Based on the anatomy of the pelvis, women are at higher risk for urinary tract infections than men." If you experience a lot of UTIs, or they don't seem to go away, though, experts tell Bustle that certain habits may be part of the issue.
There are some conditions, Dr. Fabre tells Bustle, that can increase the likelihood of a UTI, like diabetes mellitus or a urinary tract that's easily blocked. However, if you don't have one of those conditions, and your UTIs still come often and stick around for a long time, the cause for their longevity may be in how you're treating them. "Recurrent infection is not uncommon," Dr. Fabre says. Depending on where your UTI comes from, treatment can be pretty swift; a simple bladder infection can be cured in three or so days with antibiotics. But if your UTI is sticking around, experts say these six habits may be part of the reason they won't go away.