Chicago, IL Urogynecologist explains bladder infections and how to get rid of them
Bladder infections can be very painful and are something that should never be ignored. If you are in Chicago, IL area, you can turn to the team at Partners in Pelvic Health when you want to get rid of a bladder infection and stop the pain. Below, we’ll look at what a bladder infection is, common symptoms, and treatment options.
What is a bladder infection?
If you are urinating frequently accompanied by pain, burning, or stinging, you may have a bladder infection. Bladder infections are a type of urinary tract infection and are caused by bacteria that leads to inflammation of the bladder. Bladder infections are common, affecting up to 50 percent of women at least once in their life. Bladder infections are more common in women than men because of the short length of the urethra. This allows bacteria to more easily enter the bladder and cause an infection.
The good news is, there are a few simple tests we can do to diagnose a bladder infection, and most of the time, they are easy to treat.
Common symptoms of a bladder infection:
Bladder infections can cause a range of symptoms, the most common signs include:
- Cloudy urine
- Blood in the urine
- Increased frequency in urination
- Odor in the urine
- Pain or burning when urinating
- Constant urge to urinate
- Painful cramps in abdomen or lower back
There are also several risk factors for bladder infections. We mentioned earlier that women are in the highest risk group for bladder infections. Seniors, individuals with bowel incontinence, pregnant women, and individuals with a urinary catheter are also at an increased risk. Lack of proper fluid intake and diabetes are also additional risk factors.
While it’s impossible to completely prevent every instance of a bladder infection, there are some things you can do to lower the risk, they are:
- Stay hydrated, drink 6-8 glass of water per day
- Urinate before and after sexual intercourse
- Make sure to wipe front to back
- Wear cotton underwear
- Avoid douching
- Use only water when cleaning the vagina
Diagnosing bladder infections
It’s always important to seek treatment from experienced Urogynecologists like the team at Partners in Pelvic Health in Chicago, IL for bladder infections so that accurate diagnosis and treatment can occur. The first step to diagnosing a bladder infection is to talk to your doctor about your symptoms. In many cases, that may be enough to determine if you have a bladder infection. A urinary analysis can check for bacteria and blood in the urine.
If you have three or more bladder infections in a year, advanced testing such as cystoscopy, digital imaging, voiding cystourethrography or an intravenous urogram may be needed to determine the cause of your bladder infection.
Treating bladder infections
Once a diagnosis is made, there are several things we can do to help you get rid of the bladder infection. The most common type of treatment is oral antibiotics to kill the bacteria that have invaded the bladder. Typically, you will begin to feel better in about a day, but a course of antibiotics should continue over 3 to 7 days to eliminate the bacteria. Stronger infections may require a longer course of antibiotics. The doctor also may recommend a medication that can reduce the instance of pain or burning during urination.
There are some things that you can do at home to help minimize symptoms and aid in healing.
- Drink lots of water and urinate frequently to completely empty the bladder.
- Avoid sex
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, or spicy foods
- Over the counter pain reliever
- A heating pad on the lower abdomen
Call Partners in Pelvic Health for all your Urogynecology needs in Chicago, IL
Whether you are looking to get rid of a painful bladder infection or have other concerns such as urinary incontinence, pelvic floor dysfunction, uterine prolapse, or sexual dysfunction, we’re here to help. Our team has decades of combined experience and training along with the latest in medical treatments specifically to help women with a full range of Urogynecology concerns. If you have symptoms of a bladder infection and would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gandhi, please give us a call at (847) 234-1100 .