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Bladder Infections: Causes, Symptoms and How to Prevent Them

Healthlinerx

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詳細

Bladder infections, the most common type of urinary tract infection, can be painful and happen most often in women. Learn more about what causes them, how to prevent them and what treatment is available.


Many women know the pain of a bladder infection. Each year, millions of women see their doctor for this common illness. Some of the unlucky ones have recurrent infections.

Most bladder infections are caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria, which normally live in the colon. Some experts believe women are prone to bladder infections, or cystitis, because their anatomy makes it easy for E. coli bacteria to get swept up into the urinary tract.


Symptoms
Bladder infection, or cystitis, is the most common type of urinary tract infection. Symptoms include:

  • Frequent urge to urinate, sometimes only passing small amounts of urine
  • Painful, burning sensation during urination
  • Discomfort and pressure above the pubic bone
  • Fatigue
  • Cloudy urine or reddish urine, if blood is present
  • If the infection travels to the kidneys - fever, pain in the back or side below the ribs, nausea, or vomiting

What increases your risk? 

  • Sexual intercourse, because it can introduce bacteria into the bladder.
  • Using a diaphragm for birth control.
  • Being pregnant, because of hormonal changes and shifts in the position of the urinary tract. An infection that travels to the kidneys is more likely in pregnant women.
  • Having diabetes, due to changes in the immune system.
  • Having a catheter, or tube, placed in the bladder.
  • Incomplete bladder emptying and urinary tract obstructions (such as kidney stones). These prevent urine from flushing out bacteria.

Preventing a bladder infection

Take these steps to help prevent a bladder infection:

  • Clean your genital area before you have sex.
  • Urinate after intercourse to help flush out bacteria.
  • Urinate when you need to. Don't resist the urge.
  • Wipe from front to back, to help prevent bacteria near the anus from getting into the vagina or urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body).
  • Wear underwear with a cotton crotch.
  • Seek medical treatment if you have incontinence (urine leakage).
  • Avoid scented douches and feminine hygiene sprays.
  • Drink plenty of water.

Treatment for a bladder infection
Urinary tract infections are treated with antibiotics. Your doctor may first test your urine to decide the best type of antibiotic to use. You may take medicines for a few days or longer.

For frequent bladder infections, your doctor may want to do other tests, which may include an x-ray or ultrasound. The doctor may suggest low-dose antibiotic treatment for several months or other preventive treatment options.

A bladder infection that is not treated right away may travel to the kidneys. Antibiotic treatment will be needed.

There are medicines like Fildena to relieve the pain. Ask your doctor before you take any over-the-counter medicines for urinary discomfort because they might interfere with a urine test. You may have to avoid alcohol, spicy foods and caffeine during treatment


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