A bladder infection, or cystitis (bladder inflammation), is something that 20% of all women will deal with. Men are also prone to bladder infections after the age of 50, when the prostate begins to enlarge, as are infants, if they are uncircumcised and bacteria is allowed to build up under the foreskin. The rest of the time a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) in men can be treated the same as for a woman, but men should consult their doctor as it may be an indication of another problem.
Why are women more susceptible to bladder infections? It’s a combination of having a shorter urethra, allowing bacteria into the bladder more easily, and having a layout of genitalia that allows more easily for cross-contamination. Escherichia Coli (E. Coli), found in the gut, is the main cause of bladder infections. That’s why it’s important to follow a number of practices that reduce your risk for bladder infections:
- Wipe front to back. If you need to repeat, use fresh toilet paper. This helps to avoid the spread of fecal mater to your urethra.
- Urinate soon after sex. Any kind of sex, as any sort of rubbing can cause bacteria to be spread and possibly get into your urethra.
- Wear cotton underwear, which allows better air flow keeping things dry and reducing bacteria build-up.
Steps to Prevent Bladder Infections For Both Men and Women:
- Urinate frequently. In conjunction with this, drink plenty of water so that you can urinate frequently and keep bacteria flushed out (and diluted). Avoid holding it in, as this allows bacteria to develop.
- Keep your genitals clean and dry.
- Avoid sitting around in a wet swim-suit. When you decide you’re done swimming, change back into your clothes. If you can’t do this, or aren’t done swimming, make an effort to remove excess water with a towel from your suit to speed drying.
Some Other Bladder Infection Causes and Ways to Avoid UTIs:
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases, particularly Chlamydia, may cause Urinary Tract Infections. Always practice safe sex, which means asking your partner about their health and sexual history, and using a condom.
- Unfortunately, condoms may increase your risk of developing a UTI, so make sure to urinate after using one.
- Spermicides and Oil-based lubricants can also increase your risk of a UTI, so again, urinate after sex, and consider alternative products, such as water based lubricants. As a side note, your genitalia are highly absorbent areas (more so than your skin), so consider products that are non-toxic or specially formulated.
- Catheters can cause bacteria to grow in the urinary tract so monitor anyone using one carefully for bladder infection symptoms.
- Diaphragms may also increase your risk of developing a bladder infection, so if it’s a problem for you talk to your doctor about alternatives.
- Pregnancy can increase your risk, so make sure that you drink plenty of water and allow yourself to urinate frequently, as well as begin treatment of symptoms immediately if you think that you’ve got a UTI.
It’s important to treat a bladder infection immediately, as it can be treated easily when caught right away (it takes about 10-14 days, although symptoms may be relieved sooner). As with people using catheters, it can be hard to tell when someone who’s very old or senile has developed an infection, so it’s important we take special care when dealing with older relatives and take them to a doctor for a urine sample if there’s a change, such as irritability or sudden incontinence.
Bladder Infection Symptoms:
- A near-constant or constant desire to urinate and frequent urination, regardless of the amount of urine that comes out.
- A burning sensation or other pain during urination.
- Bladder Spasms
- Cloudy, bloody or bad smelling urine.
- Mild fever
If not treated promptly you increase the chances that your bladder infection will spread up the urinary tract through the ureters into the kidneys, a much more serious infection. Symptoms of a kidney infection include (as well as bladder infection symptoms):
- Fever, Chills
- Cloudy, bloody, or bad smelling urine
- Abdominal Pain
- Back Pain just above the waist
When you see your doctor, they will confirm the UTI symptoms with a urine test and prescribe antibiotics. It is important that you take all the antibiotics.
Did you know? AÂ study has shown Colloidal Silver’s effectiveness against E. Coli. If you are especially prone to UTIs and they recur frequently, it may help to support your immune system with Colloidal Silver past the duration of the antibiotics to help ensure that there’s no remaining bacteria. Also make sure that you follow the preventative steps listed above.
Other Bladder Infection home remedies and support include drinking plenty of (100% pure) cranberry juice, which acidifies your urine making it inhospitable to bacteria. However, before drinking cranberry juice have a doctor or pharmacist check it against other medications you may be on.
Other Bladder Infection tips and tricks include avoiding caffeine, as it’s a diuretic and may worsen the sensation that you need to urinate, and using a hot water bottle to ease pain.