Bladder Infection Treatment
A bladder infection
is also called a urinary tract infection. If we get
a bladder infection, it is caused by bacteria. Normally
our urine contains fluids, salts and waste products
but it does not contain bacteria. It is when bacteria
gets into our bladder and then multiplies in our urine
that we end up with a bladder infection such as cystitis
or even a kidney infection.
Such bacteria can come from inside our intestines
but it can also come from the skin around the rectal
and vaginal areas. 80% of all bladder infections are
caused by the bacteria E.coli. The infection enters
the system via the urethra (that tube that connects
the bladder to the outside).
Some women are more prone to bladder infections (some
30% of all women between the age of 20 and 40 years
have had a bladder infection) and this may well be
because of the differences in the shape and length
of the urethra. A woman with a shorter urethra may
get more bladder infections. Women are also more susceptible
during intercourse because any time the vaginal area
is rubbed bacteria can be pushed into the urethra.
Men usually get fewer bladder infections because they
have longer urethras.
Signs and symptoms of a bladder infection
o Frequent and urgent need to urinate.
o Burning or pain during urination.
o Bladder spasms.
o Feeling of need to urinate even though little or
no urine is there.
o Mild fever.
o Occasionally, cloudy or bloody urine or urine with
a strong odor.
Signs and symptoms of a kidney infection
o Fevers, chills and nausea.
o Back pain just above the waist.
o Abdominal pain.
o Frequent urination and burning.
o Cloudy or bloody urine.
When you have the signs and symptoms of either a
bladder infection or a kidney infection, it is wise
to seek medical attention straight away as such symptoms
will only worsen if the problem is not treated. A
kidney infection can be serious and needs to be treated
quickly to avoid any permanent damage to the kidneys.
Tips to prevent bladder infections:
o After both urination and a bowel movement, women
should cleanse from front to back with toilet paper
or a baby wipe.
o Men and women should go to the bathroom to empty
the bladder frequently. Avoid holding urine for long
periods of time.
o Men and women should keep the genital area clean
and dry. If you are sexually active, urinate within
10 minutes of intercourse and gently wash the genital
area to remove any bacteria. If you use a lubricant,
choose a water-soluble one.
o Spermicidal creams and diaphragm contraceptives
are both associated with higher incidences of bladder
o Women should avoid bubble baths as these can cause
irritation to the vaginal area. Also avoid nylon underwear,
tight jeans or wet swimsuits while underwear with
cotton crotches helps to keep the vaginal area free
o Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water per day to keep your
bladder active and bacteria free.
o Pure 100% cranberry juice is a good liquid to drink
regularly as it will help to keep the urine acidic.
Bacteria do not multiply well in an acidic environment.
If you are not able to get hold of juice, then use
cranberry capsules, with plenty of water, available
in good health food shops.
If you are female and you have recurrent bladder
infections, you should have this checked for possible
underlying problems. As bladder infections are rarer
in males or children, further investigation of any
infection should be carried out by your medical practitioner.
The important thing is for all such infections to
be treated promptly.