Your Quick Guide to Bladder Infections in Adults
Bladder infections or urinary tract infections are one of the most common reasons why people in the UK consult a GP. They are a normal part of life for most people, at some point, although that doesn’t make these infections any less uncomfortable or painful. The good news is that most infections of the bladder can be cured with antibiotics. Here is some more information about bladder infections that you can use to avoid and learn how to treat this common condition.
How Many People Get Bladder Infections?
Bladder infections affect more women than men. It is thought that around 50 percent of women in the United Kingdom will suffer a bladder infection at least one time, while in men urinary tract infections affect around one in every 2,000 men each year. Children can suffer bladder infections but it is not very common.
What Causes a Bladder Infection?
The infection of the bladder is caused by bacteria that enter the body through the urinary tract or through the bloodstream. It is not clear what exactly causes these bacteria to enter the body, or why more women than men suffer from the infection. You can help reduce your risk of suffering from a urinary tract or bladder infection by emptying the bladder after you have had sexual intercourse, trying not to get constipated, and topping up your diet with cranberry juice.
Symptoms of Bladder Infections
When you have a bladder infection or a urinary tract infection there are some symptoms that you will almost certainly experience. These include a painful sensation when you urinate which can be a burning pain. You will also probably need to visit the toilet more often. You may also have a pain in your abdomen. Other symptoms of a bladder infection include cloudy urine, an unpleasant smell when you urinate, back pain, and a feeling of sickness or generally feeling unwell.
Treating Bladder Infections
While bladder infections normally get better without treatment in around five days, you can also get effective bladder infection treatment that shortens this time and helps to relieve the pain. It is usually recommended to get treatment for a bladder infection if you are getting recurrent infections, or if you are at risk of complications from the infection. Complications are rare but they could include blood poisoning or lead to problems such as kidney failure. Normally these complications are a problem for people with another condition such as diabetes.
It is recommended that you get a medical evaluation if your bladder infection persists for several days, or you get added symptoms alongside those of the bladder infection. In all cases, it helps to get a medical diagnosis so you can treat the condition and get back to normal.