A urinary tract infection is a condition where you have an infection anywhere along the bladder or even up into the kidneys. Everything just has a broad umbrella term called urinary tract infection. For some people, that may just be a bladder infection. For some people, it may be that the bladder infection has spread into the kidneys and is then causing a more serious infection known as pyelonephritis.
I think on average recurrent bladder infection or any kind of bladder infection may happen to 20% of women.
We find that women tend to have bladder infections more often than men, and we find that women in their postmenopausal years, that means once their menstruation has stopped, tend to be more at risk of developing these infections.
Yes, they can and that could mean a serious problem, and they should see a pediatrician or a pediatric urologist almost immediately.
The majority of the time, it happens because there is some kind of a disruption in your body’s natural ability to fight against the bladder infection.
It may be that in older women, there’s an imbalance in the good and bad bacteria in the vaginal area due to lack of normal female hormones known as estrogen. This makes you more predisposed to bladder infection.
Any kind of “trauma” like a sexual act may actually cause the bladder infection and cause symptoms of a bladder infection.
The most common symptom of a UTI or a bladder infection is burning with urination. That is the hallmark, sudden onset of burning with urination, which then begins to evolve into needing to use the restroom every 15 minutes.
If left unchecked, you may even notice some blood in urine.
The best way to treat a bladder infection is to get a proper diagnosis. There are certain conditions which behave like a bladder infection but may not be one.
Make sure you call your primary care doctor, who will easily be able to put in an order for you in the lab. You go to the lab, you leave a urine sample, and then they’ll be able to call in a course of antibiotic for you.
Sometimes, it’s possible to be hospitalized, especially when the bladder infection moves up into the kidneys and you are very, very sick, with high fevers and blood in urine. Those could all be signs of very serious infections, which sometimes may lead to hospital admission and intravenous antibiotics.
The majority of the treatments last somewhere between three to seven days. Sometimes, we may have to extend those treatments a little longer.
Absolutely. Sometimes, we do find that infections come back, especially within three to six months of getting the primary bladder infection.
Some simple things that are available over the counter would be vitamin C supplements, cranberry extract pills. Just even taking some probiotic supplements may be very helpful. If you are in your postmenopausal years, using a little bit of estrogen cream in the vaginal area can be very, very effective.
I would say wait for maybe 24 hours or so because sometimes it just may be a bladder irritability that can happen with drinking large amounts of coffee or alcohol.
If you find that the symptoms continue to become worse over the 24 hour period, that would be a good time to call your doctor or just go to urgent care.
Bladder infections sometimes can move up into the kidneys. That’s a very dangerous situation.
Sometimes the body will try to fight the bladder infections often and may only partially treat it, and not completely eradicate it, which leads to a lot of inflammation in the bladder. You may have persistent symptoms and inflammation even if there is actually no detectable infection. And that’s called a post-infection bladder inflammation or cystitis.
If you are experiencing symptoms of a bladder infection, such as burning with urination, needing to urinate every 15 to 20 minutes, blood in urine, or fever, don’t ignore it. Make sure you let your primary care doctor know or even your OB-GYN. And if it is after hours, you’ve got urgent cares that are open 24 hours that can help you with your bladder infections and treating them appropriately.