What is a bladder infection?
A bladder infection, also known as cystitis
, refers to an infection in the bladder
. It is a type of urinary tract infection (UTI)
and often caused by bacterial infections
. But sometimes viral infections, yeast infections
, or chemical irritants can also lead to a bladder infection.
What is the urinary tract?
First, we need to know the urinary tract. The urinary tract involves kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra
. The kidneys are responsible for clean waste from blood and make urine
, then the ureters carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder
. The bladder can store urine
and the urine will flow out of the body
through the urethra.
What causes a bladder infection?
A bladder infection is often caused by bacteria
, such as Escherichia coli
. The bacteria usually exist in your large intestines and skin
. A bladder infection occurs when the bacteria enter your bladder through the urethra
and cause infections.
Because a woman’s urethra is shorter
, and the outside opening is close to anus
, a woman is more likely
to get bladder infections than a man.
Some factors may increase the risk
of a bladder infection, including:
- Insufficient fluid intake.
- A urinary catheter.
- Narrowed urethra.
- Enlarged prostate.
- Bowel incontinence.
- Weakened immune system.
- Surgery within the urinary tract.
What are the symptoms of a bladder infection?
The common signs and symptoms include:
- Pain or burning sensation when you’re urinating.
- Urinate in small amounts at a time.
- Cloudy or bloody urine.
- Urinate frequently.
- Foul-smelling urine.
- Have an urgent need to urinate.
- Pain around your pelvis.
How to diagnose a bladder infection?
In order to diagnose a bladder infection, your doctor will start with asking your symptoms
and doing a physical exam
. You may also provide a urine sample
to check the red blood cells, white blood cells, nitrites and bacteria in the sample. Sometimes, your doctor may perform a urine culture
to determine the bacteria that cause infection.
What is the treatment of a bladder infection?
A bladder infection can be treated by selfcare at home
- Avoid having sex.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods.
- Drink a lot of water.
- Take showers instead of baths.
- Urinate as soon as you feel the need.
- Put a heating pad on your lower belly.
- Wipe from front to back after urinating if you are female.
- Pain medications, such as phenazopyridine (Pyridium).
Please consult medical professionals if you want to learn more about a bladder infection.
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