Bladder Infections

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Bladder Infections

What is a Bladder Infection?

A bladder infection is an infection of the bladder. It is also called cystitis and is known to be a type of a urinary tract infection (UTI). Bladder infections are bacterial infections that occur anywhere in the urinary tract such as the bladder, ureters, kidney, or the urethra; and are one of the most common bacterial infections that affect humans. While bladder infections are not dangerous, it can get serious if left untreated for an extended period.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Bladder Infections?

The signs and symptoms of a bladder infection may vary depending on the severity of the case. However, some of the common symptoms of bladder infections include:

  • Cloudy or bloody urine
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Pain or burning sensation while urinating
  • Cramping or pressure in the back or abdomen
  • Bladder spasm
  • Lethargy or mental confusion, especially in elderly people
  • Fever or chills, particularly, if the infection has affected the kidneys.

What Causes Bladder Infections?

Most infections of the bladder are caused by many strains of Escherichia coli, commonly known as E. coli, a bacterium that normally lives in the gut. This bacterium often enters through the urethra and travels to the bladder. Thus, causing infections. Most women get bladder infections post sex. Vaginal intercourse makes it much easier for the bacterium to reach the bladder through the urethra. Thus, increasing the risk for bladder infections. Pregnant women whose urinary tract changes in response to the hormones and increased kidney functions are also prone to such infections. Besides, diaphragms and spermicides, whether used alone or with condoms, also increase the risk of urinary tract infections.

Who is at Risk of Bladder Infections?

Anyone can get a bladder infection. However, women are more vulnerable to the condition than men. The reason for this is because women have shorter urethras. Tlhus, making the path to the bladder easier for the bacterium to reach. Also, female’s urethral are located closer to the rectum as compared to men’s urethras; making the distance shorter for the bacteria to travel.

Besides, other factors too can increase the risk of bladder infections. This include:

  • Age
  • Immobility
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Bowel incontinence
  • Narrowed urethra
  • Insufficient fluid intake
  • Urinary obstruction, i.e., a blockage in the urethra or bladder
  • Urinary tract abnormality that often caused by congenital disabilities or injuries
  • Urinary retention

How to Treat Bladder Infections?

Bladder infections are often treated with a course of antibiotics that help relieve the symptoms and stop the disease from progressing. However, it is essential that you complete the entire antibiotic course, even if the symptoms disappear as this will prevent the reoccurrence of the infection.

How Can You Prevent a Bladder Infection?

Certain lifestyle changes may reduce the chances of getting a bladder infection. Here below are a few changes that may reduce or eliminate the occurrences of bladder infections.

  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Avoid or reduce the intake of alcohol, coffee and tea as this can irritate the bladder
  • Drink cranberry juice daily
  • Urinate as soon as you feel the urge
  • Urinate before and after a sexual activity
  • Do not use feminine hygiene sprays or powders
  • Wear cotton underwear and loose clothes
  • Wear sanitary pads instead of tampons
  • Take showers instead of baths
  • Stop using a diaphragm or spermicide and use an alternate form of birth control
  • Use non-spermicidal lubricated condoms

Apollo Experience

We, at Apollo Clinic, are dedicated to ensuring that you are always in the pink of health. Thus, offering you quality services, accurate diagnosis, and treatments for a broad range of medical conditions, one of them being bladder infections. With a team of highly skilled and experienced urologists in the country, we assure to provide you with the best treatment for bladder infections.

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