Answered by: Dr Sri Viknarajan
My girl 17 years old had kidney infection for 4 times already this year. Does she possible have some kind of kidney problem that’s why she got it so frequently?
Hi, thank you for your question. Kidney infection is also known as pyelonephritis. It happens when bacteria enters your urinary tract through the urethra (passageway through which the urine is carried to the outside of the body) and travel upwards to your kidneys. Bacteria from an infection in other parts of body can also cause kidney infection.
Having recurrent kidney infections does not necessarily mean that your daughter has some kind of kidney problem. There are multiple factors that will increase your risk of developing a kidney infection. Being a female puts you at a higher risk of developing kidney infection. This is because of the way the female body is built.
Women have shorter urethra than men. This makes it easier for bacteria to get into your body and travel up the urinary tract. In women, the urethra is also located closer to the vagina and anus. Bacteria can spread from the vagina and anus to the urethra, and then travel up the urinary tract to your kidneys.
Also, having a weak immune system can be a contributing factor. This could be caused by a disease like diabetes, or by medications like immunosuppressants. Another risk factor is having a structural abnormality of urinary tract or a blockage in your urinary tract. Blockage in the urinary tract can be caused by kidney stone.
This slows the flow of urine or decreases your ability to empty the bladder when urinating. There is also a condition known as vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) that increases the risk of developing kidney infection. A normal urinary tract allows urine to travel down the ureters into the bladder in one direction. However, in people with VUR, urine will flow backwards, up the ureters, into the kidneys, and cause kidney infection.
Please click on this link (DoctorOnCall) to talk to us privately online and discuss further about your inquiries. Thank you.