What is a bladder infection/urinary tract infection?
A bladder infection or urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that begins in your urinary system, which is composed of the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Any part of your urinary system can become infected, but most infections involve the lower urinary tract — the bladder and the urethra. Women are at greater risk of developing a urinary tract infection than are men. A urinary tract infection limited to your bladder can be painful and disruptive, however, serious consequences can occur if a urinary tract infection spreads to your kidneys.
Risk for developing a bladder infection/UTI increases with:
- Infection in other parts of the genitourinary system. Bacteria can reach the bladder from another part of the body through the bloodstream. Bacteria can enter the urinary tract from skin around the genital and anal area.
- Frequent or vigorous sexual activity
- Poor hygiene
- Certain types of birth control
- Urinary tract problems (tumors, calculi, or strictures)
- Injury to the urethra (the tube from the bladder to the outside)
- Use of a urinary catheter to empty the bladder, such as during childbirth or surgery
- Incomplete bladder emptying
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of a bladder infection/UTI may include:
- Pressure, burning, or stinging during urination
- Frequent urination, increased urge to urinate
- Sensation of incomplete bladder emptying
- Pain in the abdomen over the bladder
- Lower-back pain
- Blood in the urine, foul-smelling urine, or cloudy urine
- Low fever and chills
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Lack of urinary control (sometimes)
- A need to urinate more often at night
What is the treatment?
The Take Care Health Provider will perform a urine test to confirm if you have a bladder infection/UTI. Antibiotics are the typical treatment for this condition, but you can take steps to reduce your chance of getting a urinary tract infection in the first place.
- Drink eight glasses of water every day
- Avoid potentially irritating feminine products such as douche, hygiene sprays or deodorants
- Avoid bubble baths
- Wear underwear that have a cotton crotch
- Avoid postponing urination
- Urinate within 15 minutes after intercourse
- After urinating, always wipe from front to back
Take Care ClinicsSM currently treat females ages 6 and older for uncomplicated bladder infections/UTIs.
Antibiotics and Proper Antibiotic Usage
If you believe you have a medical emergency, please call 911.