Bladder Infections 101: Everything You Need to Know

Want to learn everything you need to know about bladder infections in one easy, simplified article? Then look no further. I’ve got you covered.

I am going to give you the full rundown bladder infections: what they are, how to know you have one, how you get them, and how to get rid of them quickly. We are even going to understand the urinary tract a bit better.

And speaking of urinary tracts… let’s talk about UTIs. When people say they have a urinary tract infection, they are most often talking about a bladder infection (which can also be called cystitis – three names, one problem).

Yet most people do not realize UTIs can happen in three areas of the urinary tract:

  • The kidneys
  • The bladder
  • The urethra

The kidneys filter all the blood and create urine. The urine is stored in the bladder. Then the urine exits the body through a little tube called the urethra. That is the way it is supposed to go.

Discover in just 7 short questions why you may be experiencing painful UTI’s and uncover how to return to your normal life. Take The Urinary Quiz Now!  

We run into trouble when bacteria enters the same way urine is supposed to exit. Then we get a urinary tract infection, and most commonly that infection settles in the bladder. While it is not as serious as a kidney infection, it sure does hurt.

In order to get a better understanding of how all this happens, let’s talk about the bladder.

Bladder Infections 101: What Is The Bladder?

The bladder may be one of the first internal organs we know about as children. But how much do we actually understand about the bladder? Here is what you need to know about the muscular sac in your urinary system.

  • The bladder hast two main jobs: hold your urine and contract to let your urine out
  • When it is empty, the average bladder is about the size of a pear
  • A normal bladder can hold between 400 and 600 ML of urine – or somewhere between 1 ½ cups and 2 ½ cups

Here is a YouTube video that shows you multiple angles of the bladder, how it is arranged in your body, and exactly how it works:

What Causes A Bladder Infection

Almost all cases of bladder infections come from the E. coli bacteria. Once in a while staph bacteria or some other types of gut bacteria can cause the infection too.

The bacteria enters the bladder by going through the urethra first. This is why women have far more bladder infections than men do – the female urethra is considerably shorter. Once there, if the E. coli or other bacteria multiples, it can cause the infection.

Common causes are:

  • You or your sexual partner may have bacteria around your genital areas. All the movement from sex then essentially pushes the bacteria into your urethra, which is right above the vagina
  • You may have wiped fecal matter too close to your urethra after going to the bathroom
  • Your nearby skin may have transferred the bacteria to the urethra through various movements
  • A pregnant uterus can sometimes press down on the bladder and prevent it from emptying all the way – allowing any E. coli to sit there for too long and create an infection
  • A medical catheter can easily introduce bacteria into the bladder, even when proper sanitization methods have been used

Signs And Symptoms Of A Bladder Infection

Anybody who has had a bladder infection knows those telltale signs like the back of their hand. But if you have never experienced the unique pain and discomfort of a bladder infection (remember: same thing as a UTI and cystitis), here are the most common symptoms:

  • Frequent urgency to urinate, though very little often comes out
  • Burning feeling during urination
  • Pain during urination
  • Cloudy urine
  • Bloody urine (often looks brown or pink)
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Pain around the pelvis area (lower abdomen, lower back)

If your symptoms worsen dramatically, if you get a fever, if you have nausea and vomiting, or if the pain increases, your bladder infection may have spread upward into your kidneys. While bladder infections are painful and annoying, kidney infections can be more dangerous.

Make sure you see your doctor if you think you may have a kidney infection.

Bonus: Download our 20 Most Effective Home Remedies that will show you how to Treat & Prevent UTI’s quickly.

How To Prevent A Bladder Infection

Luckily taking measures to prevent a bladder infection are easier than many other infections. UTIs are not contagious, so as long as you make helpful lifestyle choices, most people should be good to go. These include:

  • Wiping from front to back when you use the bathroom
  • Going to the bathroom right after you are done having sex to flush any new bacteria out of your urethra
  • Switching from spermicide condoms to non-spermicide condoms
  • Drinking plenty of water to make sure urine is constantly flushing out your bladder
  • Taking D-mannose, a natural supplement proven to help prevent and treat UTIs

How To Get Rid of A Bladder Infection

The typical way to get rid of a bladder infection is through a round of antibiotics. If you are hoping for an all-natural solution, the D-mannose supplement can be a great choice too. Studies have shown it is effective against E. coli.

You can also take over-the-counter medications and heating pads to help with the pain.

Recurrent Bladder Infections

Between the lifestyle changes, the D-mannose natural supplement, and the occasional round of antibiotics, most people will not have to keep suffering again and again from a bladder infection.

But some other people get them chronically. Recurrent bladder infections (also known as chronic cystitis) are a real issue mostly facing women.

Recurrent bladder infections often happen when:

  • There is some hygienic lifestyle choice being ignored (like wiping incorrectly or not urinating post-sex)
  • The patient has congenital abnormalities that makes them more susceptible
  • The patient has conditions like diabetes or kidney stones that makes it easier to contract an infection

In the case, many doctors will put their patients on continual rounds of antibiotics for months at a time. But there are downsides to this as well. Not only can too many antibiotics make you resistant to their effectiveness, but they can also mess with your gut health.

Once again, D-mannose may be a fabulous alternative, especially when it is combined with hibiscus extract. Both are natural supplements that can fight bacteria.

You also may want to talk to the doctor about getting other conditions under control (like diabetes) or discuss any surgical options for congenital abnormalities.

Bladder Infections 101: Final Thoughts On A Healthy Bladder

A bladder infection may not be something you have to worry about, but the pain and inconvenience is certainly troublesome. By following some of the suggestions above, you can hopefully stay bladder infection free!

Read Next: Celery Seed Extract for Kidney Stones – Top Surprising Ways to Help Pass Stones 

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/understanding-bladder-infections-basic-information
http://www.medicinenet.com/bladder_infection/article.htm