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Bladder Infection Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

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If you have to run to the bathroom what feels like a million times a day, only to find little to nothing comes out, yet you still feel like you have to go, you may have a bladder infection. A bladder infection is the most common form of a urinary tract infection, also known as a UTI.

We know what it’s like to have to visit the ladies’ room a lot. However, what about when urination is painful?

This may be a sign that you have a bladder infection or a urinary tract infection, and you should see a doctor as soon as you can. Treatment is simple, but important, as infections can spread to other parts of your body, like your kidneys. Left untreated, the infection can travel up your urinary tract, causing a much more serious condition.

Causes of a Bladder Infection

Bacteria such as a E. coli cause bladder infections. These bacteria live on your skin and in your intestinal tract without a problem. However, when they are introduced into your urinary system, they can cause a bladder infection, resulting in uncomfortable swelling and irritation. These bacteria can get into your urinary tract through things like sex, wiping from back to front after you go to the bathroom, or using a diaphragm for birth control.

Bladder Infection Symptoms

The symptoms of a bladder infection can include:

  • Burning sensation
  • Painful urination
  • Sudden and frequent urge to urinate
  • Passing only a small amount of urine despite feeling an intense urge to urinate
  • Bladder spasm, especially when trying to urinate
  • Abdominal pain

Experiencing a fever or chills in addition to these symptoms is a sign that the infection may have spread to your kidneys. If this is the case, seek medical attention immediately.

Bladder Infection Diagnosis & Treatment

If you feel like you are experiencing bladder infection symptoms, schedule an appointment with your doctor. He or she will test your urine to determine whether you have an infection.

If you have a bladder infection, your doctor will likely prescribe a course of antibiotics, and recommend medication that relieves pain in your abdomen and when you urinate. Remember, it’s crucial that you finish all the antibiotics your doctor prescribed even if you are feeling better, otherwise the infection may flare up again, requiring another round of treatment.

If you do have a bladder infection, be sure to drink lots of water. Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to flush out bacteria from your urinary tract. Also, overly concentrated urine is acidic and will aggravate your bladder infection symptoms. So, drink up!

How to Prevent Bladder Infections

To reduce your risks of getting a bladder infection or urinary tract infection, follow these tips:

  • Hydrate by drinking plenty of liquids (i.e. water, cranberry juice)
  • Urinate when you feel the urge and empty your bladder completely
  • Urinate before and after sex
  • Practice good hygiene and change underwear daily
  • Wipe from the front to back to avoid bacteria from getting into the vagina
  • Avoid scented products near your vagina
  • Wear cotton underwear
  • Take showers instead of baths