About 80% of women suffer from bladder infections and account for 8 million trips to the doctor each year. Men will also succumb to them more frequently after the age of 50. They are extremely common and can strike children also.
But what are the signs and symptoms of a bladder infection? How do you tell if it’s serious enough to warrant a trip to your doctor?
Read on to discover how to know if you have a bladder infection.
What is A Bladder Infection?
The culprit of a bladder infection is bacteria within the bladder. Yeast can often create an infection in the bladder as well.
Another name for a bladder infection is a urinary tract infection (UTI) in which parts of the urinary system are infected, such as bladder, kidneys, urethra, or ureter.
What Causes a Bladder Infection?
The type of bacteria that causes bladder infections is Escherichia coli (or E. Coli) entering the bladder via the urethra or ureter. The bladder will often flush them out, but when they cling to the wall of the bladder and begin to multiply is when an infection becomes present.
E. Coli lives in the large intestine and is found in stool. When bacteria from stool touch the skin, E. Coli enters the body. The reason women suffer from more bladder infections than men is that their urethra is shorter and closer to the rectum, making the trip for bacteria easy.
Other reasons for bladder infections can include:
- sexual activity
- poor toilet hygiene
- vaginal infections
How to Know If You Have A Bladder Infection
Bladder infections symptoms can vary across the board, but there are some you should not ignore.
Bladder Infection Symptoms
Pain near the bladder site, typically in the abdomen, pelvis, vagina for women, or penis and scrotum for men.
2. Frequent Urination
Visiting the restroom several times in a few hours is a good indicator of a bladder infection.
3. Feeling The Urgency to Urinate
Even after emptying your bladder, the urge to go remains.
4. Unusual Urine
If you find blood in your urine, you probably have a bladder infection. A strong odor or cloudy urine can be a symptom, too.
5. Other Symptoms
Some men and women experience fever, chills, nausea, vomiting if the infection has traveled to the kidneys.
Why Visit A Doctor For Treatment?
Sometimes a bladder infection will clear up on its own within a few days. If not, it’s important to visit your doctor for a round of antibiotics. The antibiotics can last anywhere from 3-10 depending on the severity of the infection.
Left untreated, a bladder infection can cause much more serious symptoms such as kidney problems.
Preventing Bladder Infections
Though bladder infections are common, they are preventable:
- practice good toilet hygiene
- drink plenty of water every day, overconsumption of beverages such as tea, coffee, and alcohol all upset the bladder
- opt for showers instead of baths
- do not put off urinating
How to know if you have a bladder infection is fairly simple when you understand the symptoms. And with some instruction from your doctor, you can be feeling normal soon.
Pay attention to what your body is telling you and follow the steps to lessen your chances of contracting a bladder infection.
Need a doctor right away? Visit the staff at Coastal Urgent Care of Gonzales. Open 7 days a week, from 9am-8pm, they can assist you with medical needs by diagnosing infections to injuries that are non-life-threatening. Walk-ins welcome.