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A bladder infection is a type of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). The infection is usually treated easily with antibiotics combined with simple home remedies. Occasionally, if left untreated, the infection can spread to the kidneys. In very rare cases, it can cause infections in the blood. Pregnant women carry a higher risk factor since infections in the bladder and kidney can lead to premature labor.
Urine does not naturally contain bacteria. Bacteria from the surrounding area can enter into the urinary area and cause infection to begin. It is much more common for a woman to have a bladder infection than a man. The bacteria found in the perineal area makes it much more likely for foreign contaminant to enter a woman's urinary system.
There are a few conditions that accompany a urinary tract infection that can cause discomfort or sometimes just be an annoying side effect. The most common complaint is a very frequent need to urinate, whatever time of the day, with very little urine actually passing. This small amount of urine is usually accompanied by a burning sensation. Sometimes there can be pus or blood in the urine, which is a frightening sight for most people but not uncommon. The urine is usually also quite foul in odor and contains protein.
The best way to ward off a bladder infection is by preventative care. Since bacteria is the cause, good hygiene is key to preventing any UTI. Drinking water often helps to flush any bacteria out, while vitamins like Vitamin C have been shown to be excellent for urinary tract health.
The danger accompanied with a bladder infection is very mild. Early treatment is extremely important, as an infection left untreated can spread to the kidneys and other areas. As soon as an infection is suspected, a doctor should be consulted and a regiment of antibiotics started. For those who are pregnant, it is especially important to see a doctor quickly as UTIs have been linked with premature labor. The pain of a urinary tract infection is often more pronounced in a pregnant lady as her bladder is greatly compressed.
Besides medications, doctors will often recommend a few home remedies to help with a bladder infection. Cotton underwear allows the area to breathe and cuts off some of the atmosphere that bacteria thrives in. Cranberry juice has not been clinically proven to be helpful, but centuries of anecdotal evidence has made it the favorite of the natural cures for urinary infections.
@andrade-I second your views. My aunt (age 86) nearly died from an untreated bladder infection. Apparently she had a bladder infection that turned into a kidney infection, that turned into sepsis (systemic blood infection). Fortunately she rallied back and is still with us, but it all began with a simple, undiagnosed bladder infection.
I’m a caregiver to the elderly and it’s amazing how many older women have undiagnosed bladder infections! In elderly women, signs of a bladder infection aren’t as obvious as in younger women. Most of the time there’s no pain or burning.
The most common symptom I’ve seen is a change in the odor of the urine. The urine takes on a strong, almost yeasty smell.
I wish more people would be aware of this fact because an untreated bladder infection can lead to serious trouble.