Bladder infection leads to annoying urinary problems. Bladder infection is an infection of the mucous membrane of the bladder. The condition often occurs in general practice and much more often in women than in men. The older you get, the more likely you are to get a bladder infection.
In adults, cystitis often leads to annoying urinary problems. Peeing pain, often urinating small amounts and stomach pains are common. The urine is usually cloudy (not clear) and sometimes it contains some blood. The latter can be recognized by the brown, orange or red color of the urine. In young children and the elderly, the symptoms of cystitis are often less clear. In children, being sick or an unclear fever may be the only complaint with a bladder infection.
How does a bladder infection develop?
Bladder infection is caused by bacteria entering the bladder that multiply rapidly and lead to inflammation of the mucosa. This is much more common among women than among men. The reason for this is that the urethra, the connection between the bladder and the outside world, is much shorter in women. Bacteria only have to travel a small way in women to get into the bladder.
The growth of bacteria in the bladder can be caused by bacteria from the intestine entering the bladder through the urethra due to inadequate hygiene. Poor urinary habits and too little drinking can lead to inflammation. In addition, a bladder infection can be caused by many other disorders.
Transition In the transition the mucosa becomes more delicate and thinner. Bacteria are therefore more likely to invade the bladder. In addition, middle-aged women, especially after a number of vaginal deliveries, may suffer from bladder sagging. Good urination is then actually no longer possible.
Neurological disorders The bladder is controlled by various nerves. If something goes wrong in the coordination between them, this leads to urinary problems. Kidney and bladder stones. Stones can reduce or break the urinary tract. This gives complaints when urinating, possibly in combination with severe abdominal pain that is accompanied by an urge to move.
Decreased resistance In people who have a reduced resistance for whatever reason, bladder infections develop faster. The immune system is unable to adequately combat invading bacteria. The resistance can decrease due to diabetes, radiation, and chemotherapy (cytostatic courses).
Enlargement of the prostate Most men suffers from an enlarged prostate in middle age. This magnification is usually harmless, but it causes annoying complaints such as being unable to get started, a weak beam and dripping. The enlarged prostate presses on the urethra so that a small amount of urine can easily remain in the bladder. This so-called residue increases the risk of inflammation.
Residence catheter People with a residence catheter, that is a tube that runs out from the bladder, have an increased risk of bladder infection.
Is it serious and what can you expect?
A bladder infection in women over 12 years of age who are not pregnant and have no fever is, in principle, an innocent, relatively common condition that resolves itself.
A bladder infection in children, on the other hand, can in some cases be an indication of a birth defect. Congenital defects, if not detected in time, can lead to damage to the urinary tract. In men, a bladder infection is often accompanied by inflammation of the prostate (see earlier).
Sometimes a bladder infection can ‘take off’. This means that in addition to the bladder, the kidney pelvis also becomes inflamed. This so-called ‘pyelonephritis’ is usually accompanied by fever and cramping abdominal pain. With timely treatment, the inflammation heals completely.
When to the doctor?
Men, children, and pregnant women with (symptoms) of a bladder infection should contact their doctor. The causes and the treatments are somewhat more complicated in these groups.
Women over the age of twelve who are not pregnant and who do not have a fever do not necessarily have to go to their doctor. If the recommendations are followed properly, the bladder infection will usually resume after one to two weeks.
If you have a lot of complaints or if it is very inconvenient (for example just before a holiday) you can, of course, go to the doctor. Medications relieve the symptoms, shorten the duration of the bladder infection and reduce the risk of complications.
If you suffer from a fever or cramping abdominal pain or the symptoms persist for longer than a week, Edexme.com recommends that you contact your general practice. During the consultation, the doctor will first ask a few questions. When did it start? What are the complaints? Do you have a fever? These are frequently asked questions. You will encounter the same questions. The practice assistant examines your urine.
If the doctor has doubts or thinks about an abnormality or other disorder, he will refer you to the hospital specialist if necessary.
What can you do about it yourself?
Getting used to good peeing habits A good peeing pattern can prevent bladder inflammation and once the inflammation has occurred, it can heal faster. If urine remains in the bladder, or if the bladder is too full, the mucosa becomes irritated. Bacteria can, therefore, grow out, causing a bladder infection. It is therefore important to:
- Pee the bladder well every time. Children in particular often do not allow themselves time to pee properly
- Pee does not stop for long
- Pee regularly
Drinking a lot By drinking a lot, you will pee more. You actually flush the bladder thoroughly. As a result, bacteria do not get time to grow out and cause inflammation. To prevent cystitis as much as possible, it is best to drink 1.5 to 2 liters of fluid a day. If you have a bladder infection, it is advisable to drink one liter more per day, so about 2.5 to 3 liters of fluid.
Hygiene measures In most cases a bladder infection is caused by bacteria that occur in the intestines. Due to certain actions, bacteria from the intestines can end up in between the labia and therefore also into the bladder via the urethra. That is why it is important to:
- when cleaning the labia, wipe once from the front to the back with the toilet paper or the washcloth
- when cleaning the anus with the toilet paper or washcloth, also wipe once from the front to the back. If this is not enough, fold the paper or washcloth once or take a new one and repeat the operation as many times as necessary
- after you have had sexual intercourse, go to the toilet within fifteen minutes and urinate as well as possible
Contact your doctor on time A bladder infection can take off and lead to a kidney infection. That is why it is important to contact your general practice if:
- you get a high fever (38.5 degrees Celsius or higher, measured rectally)
- you have severe cramping abdominal pain and cannot sit still while doing so
- an antibiotic cure does not start in three days
Bladder infection leads to annoying urinary problems