Common Bladder Problems And When To Seek Help
Bladder problems can disrupt day-to-day life. When people have bladder problems, they may avoid social settings and have a harder time getting tasks done at home or at work. Common bladder problems include urinary tract infections, urinary incontinence, and urinary retention.
Some signs of a bladder problem may include:
- Inability to hold urine or leaking urine
- Needing to urinate more frequently or urgently
- Cloudy urine
- Pain or burning before, during, or after urinating
- Trouble starting or having a weak stream while urinating
- Trouble emptying the bladder
If you experience any of these symptoms, talk to your health care provider.
Treatment for bladder problems may include behavioral and lifestyle changes, exercises, medications, surgery, or a combination of these treatments and others. For more information on treatment and management of urinary incontinence, visit Urinary Incontinence in Older Adults.
How Do Health Care Professionals Treat A Bladder Infection
If you have a bladder infection caused by bacteria, a health care professional is likely to prescribe antibiotics. If the diagnosis is not certain, based on your symptoms or lab test results, you may not need antibiotics. Instead, your health care professional will work to find the cause and the best treatment for your symptoms.
Signs And Symptoms Of Cystitis
The main symptoms of cystitis include:
- pain, burning or stinging when you pee
- needing to pee more often and urgently than normal
- urine that’s dark, cloudy or strong smelling
- pain low down in your tummy
- feeling generally unwell, achy, sick and tired
Possible symptoms in young children include:
- pain in their tummy
- reduced appetite and vomiting
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How Is A Uti Diagnosed
To find out whether you have a UTI, your doctor or nurse will test a clean sample of your urine. This means you will first wipe your genital area with a special wipe. Then you will collect your urine in midstream in a cup. Your doctor or nurse may then test your urine for bacteria to see whether you have a UTI, which can take a few days.
If you have had a UTI before, your doctor may order more tests to rule out other problems. These tests may include:
- A cystogram. This is a special type of x-ray of your urinary tract. These x-rays can show any problems, including swelling or kidney stones.
- A cystoscopic exam. The cystoscope is a small tube the doctor puts into the urethra to see inside of the urethra and bladder for any problems.
Best Remedies For Bladder Infections
About bladder infections
The urethra is the tube that takes urine out of the body. Once bacteria go into the urethra, they can attach to the walls of the bladder and multiply quickly.
The resulting infection can cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as the sudden urge to urinate. It may also cause pain while urinating and abdominal cramping.
A combination of medical and home treatments may ease these symptoms. If left untreated, bladder infections can become life-threatening. This is because the infection can spread to the kidneys or blood.
Here are seven effective bladder infection remedies.
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What Happens When A Uti Goes Untreated
Thanks to early diagnosis and proper treatment, the vast majority of lower urinary tract infections result in no complications. However, if left untreated, a UTI can have serious ramifications notes the Mayo Clinic, including:
- Recurrent UTIs
- Premature birth and low birth weight
- Kidney damage, which can occur is an untreated UTI spreads from the bladder to the kidneys.
About Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting apple cider. The fermentation process causes the sugars in the apple cider to break down into acids, which give apple cider vinegar its sour taste. By some accounts, apple cider vinegar has been used as a folk remedy for conditions such as arthritis and poor digestion for centuries, but it has only been within the last decade or so that apple cider vinegar has been marketed as a dietary supplement in the United States.
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Amoxicillin/potassium Clavulanate Cefdinir Or Cephalexin
How it Works: is another combination drug that belongs to the penicillin class of antibiotics. and belong to a different class of antibiotics thats closely related to penicillins.
All three antibiotics kill bacteria by destroying one of its most important components: the cell wall, which normally keeps bacteria structurally intact.
Amoxicillin/clavulanate: 500 twice a day for 5 to 7 days
Cefdinir: 300 mg twice a day for 5 to 7 days
Cephalexin: 250 mg to 500 mg every 6 hours for 7 days
Notable side effects: Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and rash are common side effects of these antibiotics. In rare cases, all three have the potential to cause the dangerous skin reactions, SJS and TEN.
If you have a penicillin allergy, your healthcare provider wont prescribe amoxicillin/clavulanate. They may or may not prescribe cefdinir or cephalexin since there is a small chance that a person with a penicillin allergy may also be allergic to these two.
How You Can Treat Cystitis Yourself
If you have been having mild symptoms for less than 3 days or you have had cystitis before and do not feel you need to see a GP, you may want to treat your symptoms at home or ask a pharmacist for advice.
Until you’re feeling better, it may help to:
- wipe from front to back when you go to the toilet
- gently wash around your genitals with a skin-sensitive soap
Some people believe that cranberry drinks and products that reduce the acidity of their urine will help.
But there’s a lack of evidence to suggest they’re effective.
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Baking Soda Bath For Uti
Its important not to feel bad if you get a UTI. Its the most common infection. Some women even joke that UTIs are no worse than the common cold for the vagina. However, left untreated, infections are no laughing matter.
So keep that in mind before you try an ACV bath. Adding baking soda to a bath has also become a popular home remedy.
However, like ACV, theres no proof baking soda in a bath can cure or prevent UTIs.
What To Expect At Home
UTIs can lead to infection. Most often the infection occurs in the bladder itself. At times, the infection can spread to the kidneys.
Common symptoms include:
- Pain or burning when you urinate
- Needing to urinate more often
- Hard to empty your bladder all the way
- Strong need to empty your bladder
These symptoms should improve soon after you begin taking antibiotics.
If you are feeling ill, have a low-grade fever, or some pain in your lower back, these symptoms will take 1 to 2 days to improve, and up to 1 week to go away completely.
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Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infections
How do you know if you have a UTI? Well, sometimes there are actually no symptoms at all and other times you will experience some pretty noticeable signs.
The most common symptoms associated with UTIs are:
- Strong, persistent need to urinate
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Urine with a strong odor
- Urinating small amounts frequently
- Pain in the pelvic area, particularly for women
If the infection has made it to your kidneys, you might have one or more of these symptoms:
- Pain located below the ribs in your back or side
If you think you have a UTI, especially if you think that its become a kidney infection, its important to see your doctor. They can rule out the cause and prescribe you antibacterial or antibiotic drugs to kill off the bacteria.
When Urinary Tract Infections Keep Coming Back
If you are prone to recurrent UTIs, you can head them off before they take hold.
Unless you’re in the fortunate minority of women who have never had a urinary tract infection , you know the symptoms well. You might feel a frequent urgency to urinate yet pass little urine when you go. Your urine might be cloudy, blood-tinged, and strong-smelling. For 25% to 30% of women who’ve had a urinary tract infection, the infection returns within six months.
If you have repeated UTIs, you’ve experienced the toll they take on your life. However, you may take some comfort in knowing that they aren’t likely to be the result of anything you’ve done. “Recurrent UTIs aren’t due to poor hygiene or something else that women have brought on themselves. Some women are just prone to UTIs,” says infectious diseases specialist Dr. Kalpana Gupta, a lecturer in medicine at Harvard Medical School.
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What Causes Male Bladder Infection
Bladder infection is normally caused by bacteria which multiply in the urethra and travel into the bladder. These bacteria include Staphylococcus, Escherichia Coli, Klebsiella, and Pseudomonas. If left unchecked, the infection can grow further and reach the kidneys and ultimately, get into the bloodstream.
Although rare, bladder infection in males can sometimes be caused by fungi or other parasites.
Predisposing Factors for Bladder Infection in Men
While bladder infections and UTIs in general are not very common in men, some factors can increase the risk. These include:
- Circumcision Circumcised men are less likely to develop a bladder infection than their uncircumcised counterparts.
- Age Due to enlargement of the prostate gland, men who are 50 years and above are more likely to contract bladder infection.
- Pre-existing conditions Conditions such as kidney stones can cause blockages that would increase the risk of an infection.
- Anal sex Anal sex increases the risk of getting sexually-transmitted UTIs.
- Disruption in the normal flow of urine caused by a catheter When the flow of urine is disrupted, it is difficult to wash away the microbes.
- A weak immune system caused by conditions like HIV or diabetes
Be Aware Of Your Bathroom Habits
Take enough time to fully empty your bladder when urinatingdont rush it. Urinate after sex to flush away bacteria that may have entered the urethra during sex. Clean the genital area before and after sex.
If youre a woman, wipe from front to back, especially after a bowel movement, to keep bacteria from getting into the urethra.
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White Vinegar For Urinary Infections
A urinary tract infection is caused by the bacteria Escherichia coli , which normally lives in the digestive system 1. When it spreads to the urinary tract and combines with the bacteria Staphylococcus saprophyticus, the result is a painful and unwanted UTI.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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Wipe From Front To Back
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases , UTIs can develop when bacteria from the rectum or feces gain access to the urethra. This small channel allows urine to flow out of the body.
Once bacteria are in the urethra, they can travel up into other urinary tract organs, where they can lead to infections.
After urinating, wipe in a way that prevents bacteria from coming into contact with the genitals. Use separate pieces of toilet paper to wipe the genitals and anus.
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Practice These Healthy Habits
Preventing urinary tract infections starts with practicing a few good bathroom and hygiene habits.
First, its important not to hold urine for too long. This can lead to a buildup of bacteria, resulting in infection .
Peeing after sexual intercourse can also reduce the risk of UTIs by preventing the spread of bacteria .
Additionally, those who are prone to UTIs should avoid using spermicide, as it has been linked to an increase in UTIs .
Finally, when you use the toilet, make sure you wipe front to back. Wiping from back to front can cause bacteria to spread to the urinary tract and is associated with an increased risk of UTIs .
Urinating frequently and after sexual intercourse can reduce the risk of UTI. Spermicide use and wiping from back to front may increase the risk of UTI.
Several natural supplements may decrease the risk of developing a UTI.
Here are a few supplements that have been studied:
- D-Mannose. D-Mannose is a type of sugar that is found in cranberries. Research suggests its effective in treating UTIs and preventing recurrence (
How Long Do You Need To Take Antibiotics For A Uti
Antibiotics are typically prescribed for 3-7 days. The course may be extended or the prescription may change if the initial course fails to treat the infection.
For antibiotic therapy to be effective, you need to take the drugs as instructed. Many times, symptoms may seem to resolve before you complete the entire course of antibiotics. However, avoid discontinuing the course of treatment and continue to take the doses as prescribed.
If you are a female and suffer from frequent UTIs, your doctor may ask you to:
- Take a single dose of antibiotic after intercourse
- Take low-dose antibiotics for up to 5 months
- Undergo vaginal estrogen therapy if you are menopausal
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Can Urinary Tract Infections Be Prevented Or Avoided
There are many lifestyle choices that can help you prevent UTIs. These are some of the things you can do to protect yourself from them:
- Drink plenty of water to flush out bacteria. For some people, drinking cranberry juice may also help prevent urinary tract infections. However, if youre taking warfarin, check with your doctor before using cranberry juice to prevent urinary tract infections. Your doctor may need to adjust your warfarin dose or you may need to have more frequent blood tests.
- Dont hold your urine. Urinate when you feel like you need to. Some children dont go to the bathroom often enough. If your child does this, teach him or her to go to the bathroom several times each day.
- Wipe from front to back after bowel movements. Teach your child to wipe correctly.
- Urinate after having sex to help wash away bacteria.
- Use enough lubrication during sex. Try using a small amount of lubricant before sex if youre a little dry.
- If you get urinary tract infections often, you may want to avoid using a diaphragm as a birth control method. Ask your doctor about other birth control choices.
- Avoid taking or giving your child bubble baths.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing , and dress your child in loose-fitting clothing.
- If you are uncircumcised, wash the foreskin regularly. If you have an uncircumcised boy, teach him how to wash his foreskin.
Consider Switching Birth Control Methods If You Have Repeat Bladder Infections
If you have trouble with repeat bladder infections, talk with a health care professional about your birth control. Consider switching to a new form of birth control if you use diaphragms, unlubricated condoms, or spermicide, all of which can increase your chances of developing a bladder infection. Consider using lubricated condoms without spermicide or using a nonspermicidal lubricant.
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How Common Are Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are very common, occurring in 1 out of 5 women sometime in their lifetime. Though UTIs are common in women, they can also happen to men, older adults and children. One to 2% of children develop urinary tract infections. Each year, 8 million to 10 million visits to doctors are for urinary tract infections.
What Are The Symptoms Of Bladder Infection In Men
While different individuals will not have the same signs, the following are the most common symptoms of bladder infection:
A sudden and frequent urge to urinate
Peeing little amounts of urine
Lower back pain or cramping in the lower abdomen
Burning sensation when urinating
Frequent urination during the night
Foul-smelling urine that may appear cloudy
Blood in the urine this is a sign that your bladder walls are inflamed, in which case you should seek medical assistance urgently.
The following UTI symptoms are specific to men:
Discharge from the penis
It is important to note that bladder infection in males is more likely to recur after the initial infection because bacteria may hide and multiply within the prostate gland.
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Male Bladder Infection: Symptom Cause And Treatment
A bladder infection is a urinary tract infection caused by bacteria. This type of infection, like many UTIs, is more common in women than men due to the anatomical differences of their urinary tracts. The shorter urethra in women increases the risk of bacteria traveling up to the bladder. But, although women are more likely to get UTIs, bladder infection in males is not uncommon. And while the symptoms of urinary tract infections are similar in both men and women, some symptoms are unique to men.
Creating Stronger Strains Of Bacteria
Over time, some species of bacteria have become resistant to traditional antibiotics. According to some research , several species of E. coli, the primary cause of UTIs, are showing increasing drug resistance.
The more a person uses an antibiotic, the greater the risk of the bacteria developing resistance. This is even more likely when people do not follow a doctors instructions to complete the full prescribed course of treatment.
It is essential to continue a course of antibiotics until the end date that the doctor provides. People should also never share antibiotics with others.