Bladder Infection

Advertisement - Scroll to continue

What Is Bladder Infection?

Bladder infection, an inflammation caused by bacteria and microorganisms, is a medical condition characterized by an increased need to urinate due to constant fluid intake. To alleviate its symptoms, patients often consume large quantities of various warming drinks, and some may also resort to herbs with a diuretic effect.

It is important to note that drinking large amounts of fluids during bladder infection does not exacerbate the condition but helps hydrate the body and relieve discomfort. However, medical attention is necessary for urinary tract or kidney problems.

Bladder infection typically occurs through the urethra, and women are more susceptible to it due to the proximity of the urethral opening to the anus and vagina. Women may experience bladder infection multiple times throughout their lives. A healthy individual’s urinary tract remains sterile and free from germs and microorganisms.

Bladder Infection: What Is, Causes, Symptoms, and Diagnosis

Causes

Urinary tract infectionsTrusted Source (UTIs) are commonly caused by Escherichia coliTrusted Source, a bacterium that naturally resides in the body and is found in fecal matter. While it usually does not pose a threat within the digestive tract, when it adheres to the bladder walls via the urethra, it causes cystitis. Failure to initiate prompt medical treatment could result in the bacteria ascending to the kidneys.

The entry of E. coli into the urinary system could occur through various means, including contaminated towel use or improper hygiene practices. In addition, sitting on cold, damp surfaces or wearing wet swimsuits may also lead to cystitis. Sexual intercourse without the use of a condom is another cause, with bacteria more easily entering the urethra during intercourse. Further, the urethral mucosa may sustain abrasions during intercourse, thereby promoting bacterial growth. Overheating and sweating in intimate areas also facilitate bacterial development.

Apart from E. coli, the scented bath products used may cause inflammation. Some women may experience bladder infectionTrusted Source from vaginal contraceptives and tampons.

Who Does It Affect?

Urinary tract infections specifically affect womenTrusted Source. It is related to differences in anatomical structure. Women have a shorter urethra and no antibacterial factors in the urinary tract, which are produced by the prostate gland in men. Additionally, micro-injuries of the urethra – which may occur during sexual intercourse, as well as some methods of contraception – favor the development of infections.

In menTrusted Source, however, this disease is predisposed to disorders in the outflow of urine caused by an obstruction below the bladder. Most often, the urethra is pressed by the diseased prostate.

Symptoms

The clinical manifestation of the disease under consideration shares similarities with other types of urinary tract infections. The principal symptomsTrusted Source characterizing this disease are challenging urination (dysuria), usually accompanied by pain and a burning sensation. Additionally, patients often experience frequent urges to urinate, and only a small volume of urine is passed. In some instances, patients may experience nocturia, which is defined as urinating more than once during the night. This symptom is considered significant when the need to urinate at night occurs more frequently than once, disrupts sleep, or causes other symptoms.

Another manifestation of this disease is pain above the pubic symphysis, which is the anatomical location of the urinary bladder. Patients typically do not experience pain in the kidney area, the lumbar part of the spine, or the lower back. Patients with this disease may also present with haematuria (blood in urine) and other general symptoms such as fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting.

Bladder Infection: What Is, Causes, Symptoms, and Diagnosis

In Children

Bladder infection in childrenTrusted Source presents with different symptoms compared to adults. This bacterial infection is one of the most prevalent among the pediatric population. Diagnosis in children can often be challenging, particularly in the youngest age groups.

E. coli is the primary cause of bladder infection in children. Contributing factors to the infection may include urinary tract abnormalities or infections in other family members. Neglect of personal hygiene may also lead to the disease.

Symptoms of bladder infection in children include painful urination and a burning sensation. Hematuria and purulent discharge from the urethra may occur in children and adults. Other symptoms of bladder infection in children include abdominal pain and experiencing pain during urination with small amounts of urine.

During Pregnancy

It is one of the most common ailments among pregnant womenTrusted Source. In most cases, the cause is bacterial infection. The symptoms can be troublesome, although many future mothers suffer from bladder infections without any symptoms. A urinary tract infection is indicated by pain in the lower abdomen and frequent urination of small amounts of urine. There may be blood or thick discharge in a pregnant woman’s urine.

Bladder infection during pregnancy results from a pregnant woman’s greater susceptibility to infections. Some women believe that this is even the first sign of pregnancy. In this case, the disease should be treated under the doctor’s supervision during the pregnancy. Sometimes, they may order an ultrasound examination of the abdominal cavity.

Pregnant women suffering from bladder infection are most often treated with oral antibiotics. However, not all medicines can be used, as some may harm the baby. As in the case of non-pregnant women, treatment lasts approximately seven days.

Home remedies for treating bladder infection during pregnancy include drinking, for example, cranberry, blackcurrant, or chokeberry juice. It is also advisable to drink plenty of water without sugar.

Diagnosis

Cystitis, one of the most common urinary tract infections, is typically treated by family doctors. Upon exhibiting the previously mentioned symptoms, during diagnosisTrusted Source specialists recommend a general urine test. Leukocyturia, an abnormal number of leukocytes in the urine, and bacteriuria, the presence of bacteria in the urine, are commonly detected by this test to identify an infection in the urinary tract. The standard urine sample must contain a minimum of 105/ml bacteria to establish significant bacteriuria. Diagnosis is usually concluded at this stage, and treatment is initiated.

Additional Tests

Additional tests are advised if treatment fails to improve the symptoms or if they recur within 1-4 weeks. Urine cultureTrusted Source is a test that involves cultivating microorganisms from urine on specialized media. Urine is collected into sterile containers and sent to the laboratory, where the specific pathogen responsible for the infection is identified, and the specialists choose a drug that is most effective against the precise microorganism.

Imagining Tests

Imaging testsTrusted Source, such as ultrasound (ultrasonography) of the abdominal cavity, voiding cystography, computed tomography, or magnetic resonance imaging, are also conducted less frequently. These tests aim to visualize the individual elements of the urinary system and search for the underlying causes of treatment failures.

Treatment

Treatment of bladder infection with antibioticsTrusted Source lasts from 7 to 10 days. Although the patient will feel relief just a few hours after taking the first dose, it is not advisable to stop the treatment. Otherwise, the bacteria will become resistant to the antibiotic. The consequence will be a recurrence of the disease with a vengeance. Even after the symptoms disappear, it will be advisable to repeat urine tests several days after starting treatment.

Medications

Medicines for bladder infection are also available over the counter. However, they should not be taken by people with extensive urinary tract infections, as other preparations may be more helpful in their case. Medicines for bladder infection include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugsTrusted Source. In addition, herbsTrusted Source such as chamomile and birch extract may also be beneficial and can aid urination.

Cranberry Extract

Some specialists recommend cranberry extractTrusted Source as a cure for bladder infections. It is most often used to treat children. The extract is available without a prescription. Thanks to this, bacteria do not stick to the walls of the urinary bladder, and the excretion of microorganisms from the urinary tract takes place. The vitamin C in cranberries acidifies the urine, which also limits the reproduction of bacteria. However, even before using cranberry extract, you should consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Bladder Infection: What Is, Causes, Symptoms, and Diagnosis

Is It Possible to Completely Cure Cystitis?

In virtually all cases, a urinary tract infection is completely cured with the correct antibiotic (or antibiotics) for a long enough period. In rare cases of urinary tract infection, the microorganisms cannot be removed entirely, and the cause is always a severe urinary tract disease. Despite effective treatment, in some women, urinary tract infection recursTrusted Source with varying frequency (even several times a year).

A complete permanent cure for urinary tract infections is not possible in people with a catheter in the bladder because everyone develops an infection within a month of inserting the catheter or after completing antibiotic treatment, even if there are no symptoms.

What Should You Do After The Treatment?

In the case of a simple bladder infection, there is no need to perform any tests after treatment. In other cases of urinary tract infection, after antibiotic treatment, it is recommended to perform a follow-up urine culture (after 7-14 days). Control urine cultures should be performed periodically in every pregnant woman with a urinary tract infection, even if there are no symptoms and only a positive urine culture. If a urinary tract disease happens due to an infection, specialists recommend to treat it appropriately.

Home Remedies

In addition to medications, many, often simple home methodsTrusted Source can significantly alleviate the symptoms of the disease, shorten the treatment time, and prevent further relapses. Those include:

However, always consult your doctor before starting home treatment.

Prevention

Ways to preventTrusted Source the development of bladder infection (especially in the case of recurrent forms) include:

Complications

A bladder infection, medically known as cystitis, may lead to complicationsTrusted Source, particularly when it is inadequately treated or when other risk factors are present. Some potential complications of a bladder infection include spreading to other areas of the urinary system, such as the kidneys, which can result in more severe conditions such as nephritis (pyelonephritis). In some cases, patients may experience frequent recurrences of bladder infections, which could be caused by various factors such as decreased immunity, unusual anatomy of the urinary tract, or sexual activity.

Bladder infections in pregnant women may increase the risk of premature birth and low birth weight in the baby. Peritonitis, a severe complication that can occur when bacteria from a bladder infection enter the peritoneum, leading to inflammation of the peritoneum, is also possible. In the most advanced cases, sepsis, a potentially life-threatening condition, can occur when bacteria enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body. Finally, untreated bladder infections may lead to long-term urinary tract disorders such as chronic cystitis.

Given the severe nature of these complications, it is crucial to diagnose and treat bladder infections appropriately to prevent adverse outcomes. Therefore, individuals who experience symptoms of a bladder infection, such as pain while urinating, frequent urination, a feeling of urgency, abdominal pain, or fever, are advised to seek medical attention promptly. Timely diagnosis and medical intervention can help prevent the complications that may arise from a bladder infection.

Sources

May 8, 2024
11 minutes read
Advertisement

Table of Contents

Find a topic by its first letter
READ NEXT
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Urinary Tract Infection

A UTI is a urinary tract infection. They are most often caused by bacteria. Infection may be limited to bladder… read more »

Interstitial Cystitis: What Is, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment
Interstitial Cystitis

Of the many urinary tract diseases, the entity with the most unclear aetiology and difficult to diagnose is interstitial cystitis.… read more »

Cystitis: What Is, Types, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, and Treatment
Cystitis

Cystitis is an infection of the bladder that develops when the bladder gets inflamed. Telltale signs of this medical condition… read more »

Hydronephrosis: What Is, Risks, Causes, Symptoms, and Diagnosis
Hydronephrosis

Hydronephrosis is a disease that can have serious complications. Find out how to recognise the condition so that appropriate treatment… read more »

Kidney Stones: What Is, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment
Kidney Stones

Kidney stones can form for a variety of reasons. Learn about factors that increase the risk of kidney stones. See… read more »

Staph Infection: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment
Staph Infection

Staph infection is a common disease. How can you get infected with this bacteria? How to avoid it? Learn all… read more »

Kidney Infection: What It Is, Symptoms, Treatment, and More
Kidney Infection

Kidney infections are a heterogeneous group of diseases characterized by inflammation of one or both kidneys. What are the symptoms… read more »

Prostatitis: What Is, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
Prostatitis

Prostatitis is a common problem for men that can significantly reduce quality of life. Learn about the symptoms and treatment… read more »

MRSA Infection: What Is, Causes, Risk Factors, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment
MRSA Infection

MRSA infection is a medical condition in which antibiotic-resistant bacteria attack the body. The infection can be asymptomatic or very… read more »

Advertisement
×