On your tenth trip to the bathroom in 2 hours, you may wonder if you have a bladder infection. Moreover, you can be right, especially if it hurts, burns or itches when you pee.
Bladder infections are the most common urinary tract infection (UTI). They are caused by bacteria and cause problems such as pain in the lower belly and having to pee much more often than usual.
Your doctor can do some simple tests to determine if you have one, and they are usually easy to treat. If you have bladder infections often, your doctor may want to perform more advanced tests to find the cause.
Your doctor will first perform a physical exam and talk about your symptoms. That may be enough to know if you have one.
If not, you will get a urinalysis. This test looks for bacteria, blood, or pus in a sample of your pee. Your doctor may also perform a urine culture to determine which bacteria is causing your infection.
Getting a bladder infection from time to time can be a nuisance, but it is usually not a severe health problem. Sometimes, however, it is essential to know the cause of the infection because medicine alone may not be enough to treat it.
You can get more advanced tests if you belong to one of these groups:
- Men (Because they tend not to get bladder infections, it could signify something else).
- People who have kidney damage
- Women who have three or more bladder infections in a year or blood in their urine.
To find the cause of a bladder infection, your doctor can use:
Cystoscopy – Your doctor inserts a cystoscope, a thin tube with a camera, into your urethra to look for problems or get a tissue sample for more tests (biopsy).
Images: An ultrasound, a CT scan, and an MRI scan can show tumors, kidney stones, and other problems.
Intravenous urogram: This is an x-ray that uses contrast dye to take pictures of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder.
Voiding cystourethrography: Your doctor places a dye in your bladder to see if urine flows backward from the bladder to the kidneys.
Retrograde urethrography: this test uses contrast dye to find problems in the urethra.
A mild bladder infection may go away within a few days. If not, it is usually treated with antibiotics. Usually, you start to feel better in a day, but be sure to take all medications as directed.
Women with primary infection usually take antibiotics for 3 to 7 days, although some doctors can give you an antibiotic that you can take only once.
For more viral infections, or if you get them often, you can take antibiotics for 7 to 10 days. Moreover, if you have another health condition, such as diabetes, you can get a more potent antibiotic to take more time.
For women who have gone through menopause, your doctor may suggest a vaginal estrogen cream if it is safe.
Men who have a bladder infection caused by a prostate infection may take antibiotics for several weeks.
Your doctor may also give you medicines to help with symptoms such as pain or the constant need to pee.
The objectives of pharmacotherapy are to eradicate the infection, prevent complications, and provide symptomatic relief to patients. Early treatment is recommended to reduce the risk of progression to pyelonephritis.
It is essential to identify antimicrobial resistance patterns when considering the empirical selection of antimicrobials.
Oral therapy with an empirically chosen antibiotic effective against Gram-negative aerobic coliform bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, is the primary treatment intervention in patients with lower urinary tract infections.
Suitable antimicrobials for treating cystitis include trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX), nitrofurantoin, fluoroquinolones, or cephalosporins.
Some patients may require a urinary analgesic such as oral phenazopyridine, which helps alleviate discomfort due to severe dysuria.
Here are some things you can do at home to get relief:
- Avoid having sex.
- Drink plenty of water, but avoid alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods. Everyone can make their symptoms worse.
- Take an analgesic.
- Try soaking for 15 to 20 minutes in a warm bath.
- Use a heating pad on your lower belly.
About Bladder Infections
A bladder infection, the most common type of urinary tract infection, can occur when bacteria grow uncontrollably inside the bladder. This infection can affect anyone, but it happens more frequently in women.
A bladder infection can usually be treated with medical treatments and home remedies. Antibiotics and analgesics are commonly used for bladder infections.
Some helpful alternative treatments include drinking more water, urinating frequently, and applying heat. Caring for your health and making specific changes in your lifestyle can help prevent future bladder infections.
Bladder infections are the most common type of urinary tract infection. They can develop when the bacteria enter the urethra and travel to the bladder. The urethra is the tube that removes urine from the body.
Once the bacteria enter the urethra, they can attach to the bladder’s walls and multiply rapidly.
The resulting infection can cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as a sudden urge to urinate. It can also cause pain when urinating and abdominal cramps. A combination of medical and home treatments can alleviate these symptoms.
If left untreated, bladder infections can be life-threatening if the infection spreads to the kidney or blood. Here are seven effective remedies for bladder infection:
- Drink more water
Why it helps: water eliminates bacteria from the bladder. This helps get rid of the infection faster. It also dilutes the urine so that urination can be less painful.
Urine is made of waste products from your body. Concentrated, dark urine can be more irritating and painful when you have a bladder infection. The diluted urine is a lighter color and usually does not irritate as much.
Drink at least eight glasses of water per day. You should limit drinks with caffeine, including coffee, tea, and soda. Caffeine can irritate your bladder, even more when you do not have an infection.
- Frequent Urination
Why it helps: Frequent urination helps eliminate infection by moving bacteria out of the bladder. “Holding it” or not going to the bathroom when you need it leaves time for the bacteria to continue to multiply in the bladder.
It can also be helpful to urinate after having sex. Sexual activity can push bacteria deeper into the urethra in men and women. Urinating after sex can help eliminate bacteria from the urinary tract.
This prevents germs from settling and causing an infection.
Drink plenty of fluids to urinate and go to the bathroom as soon as possible.
Why they help: antibiotics kill the bacteria that cause the infection of the bladder. If you have a urinary tract infection, you usually need medication to eliminate the organism that causes the disease.
Experts in infectious diseases recommend treating urinary tract infections with antibiotics.
If you have symptoms of a urinary tract infection, consult your doctor. Sexually transmitted diseases, vaginal infections, and certain vaginal conditions can mimic the symptoms of a urinary tract infection.
Therefore, it is essential to obtain the appropriate treatment for your condition.
Call your doctor if your symptoms last more than two days or worsen. You probably need antibiotics to treat your bladder infection.
Call your doctor immediately if you are older, pregnant, or have other serious illnesses, such as diabetes.
The duration of treatment may vary depending on the medication prescribed by your doctor and your general state of health. It is essential to take your medicine for the entire course, even if you feel better before doing it. Bringing the total dose, make sure that all the harmful bacteria are out of your system.
They help: serious bladder infections can cause pain in the pelvic region even when not urinating. Antibiotics will treat the disease. However, it can take a day or two before the medications start to help.
Taking painkillers can relieve abdominal cramps, back pain, or discomfort you may feel.
Ask your doctor if it is safe to take over-the-counter pain relievers. Taking acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB), or phenazopyridine (Pyridium) can relieve pain while waiting for antibiotics to start working.
- Heating Pads
It helps: Putting low heat in the abdominal region or back can soothe the dull pain during bladder infections. This can be especially useful when used together with your medications.
You can buy a heating pad at a local pharmacy. Be sure to follow the package instructions carefully to avoid getting burned. You can also make a warm and moist compress at home. Soak a small towel in warm water and place it over your bladder or abdomen.
- Appropriate Clothing
Why it helps: Bacteria thrive in warm, humid environments. Tight jeans and other tight garments can trap moisture in delicate areas for women. This creates a breeding ground for vaginal bacteria.
Wearing loose cotton clothing that allows your skin to breathe can help keep the bacteria away from the tissues of the urinary tract.
Wear cotton underwear, loose pants, or skirts to promote air circulation and reduce the growth of bacteria.
- Cranberry Juice
Why it helps: Cranberry has been used as a natural treatment to prevent bladder infections for generations.
According to recent research, cranberry juice and cranberry tablets promise to remedy women who often get bladder infections.
However, it is not clear if cranberry juice works to prevent bladder infections in the general population.
Talk to your doctor about cranberry juice as a way to prevent bladder infections.