A bladder infection is a type of urinary tract infection (UTI).
This refers to an infection anywhere in the urinary tract, such as the bladder, kidneys, ureters, or urethra. Most cases of bladder infections are acute, meaning they occur suddenly.
Other cases may be chronic, meaning they recur over the long term.
1. PAINFUL URINATION:
One of the first and most obvious bladder infection symptoms is often painful urination, also known as dysuria. This can manifest as a stinging sensation, a burning sensation, or more vague discomfort. It’s particularly common as a warning of bladder or urethra infection, with other forms of UTI typically manifesting in other ways.
It’s important to react to this symptom early, as mild discomfort while urinating often gives way to more intense UTI symptoms over time.
Tenderness in your lower abdomen can be indicative of a UTI, especially in combination with other symptoms of a urinary tract infection. This can result from simple inflammation of the surrounding tissues due to the infection, pressure from swollen tissues placing extra pressure on your pelvis or other structures of the body, or simply due to excessive tension and urination over a period of time. This tenderness usually compounds the discomfort or pain of urinating with a UTI, and can warrant speedier treatment methods as a result.
3. IMMEDIATE URGENCY:
It’s not unusual to feel an urgent need to urinate, but it typically builds up over time as you put off the early sensations. When this buildup isn’t present, and instead you leap immediately to an urgent need to urinate, that’s often a warning symptom of a UTI. This can be closely associated with pain or discomfort in your bladder, and serves as a warning of a condition called interstitial cystitis, a variant of the more typical cystitis (bladder inflammation) seen as one of the common bladder infection symptoms.
4. LOWER BACK PAIN:
While it’s a symptom more common with UTIs effecting the kidneys and other portions of your upper urinary tract, bladder infections can nonetheless result in lower back pain. If you’re experiencing lower back pain in combination with other symptoms of a UTI, it’s often a sign of a serious infection which has had time to spread throughout your urinary tract. It can also simply be a result of the same inflammation and strain problems which cause tenderness in the lower abdomen.
5. BLOODY URINE:
Bloody urine can be one of the more frightening bladder infection symptoms, but under most circumstances it shouldn’t send you into a panic. Blood in urine comes in a huge number of permutations, so it’s important to identify the ‘type’ of bloody urine you’re experiencing so you can decide whether it’s time for a trip to the supermarket, the doctor, or the hospital.
6. CLOUDY URINE:
Cloudy urine can be one of the earlier bladder infection symptoms, though many people only notice this symptom when they already suspect an infection and start paying closer attention. Urine can become cloudy due to the presence of any number of added substances, including pus, blood, proteins, and crystalline substances. Each of these in turn can arise due to a wide variety of conditions, including but not limited to bladder infections.
7. STRONG SMELLING URINE:
If your urine starts to smell more intense or unpleasant than usual, it can be a warning sign of a UTI as well. Of course, there are other reasons to present this symptom, many of them simply a result of your diet, so look for other symptoms of a UTI before you jump to conclusions based purely on smell.
8. FREQUENT URINATION:
Another classic symptom of a bladder infection, or indeed any UTI, is frequent urination. If you’re urinating more than eight times a day, there’s a good chance there is a problem underlying your need to urinate. All the more so if your frequent urination is caused by the sensation that you haven’t quite finished eliminating, that there’s something still in your bladder even though nothing more is coming out. This sensation in particular is strongly associated with bladder infections rather than urethral infections or infections further up your urinary tract.
As with any infection, a UTI can present with fever as your body attempts to fight it off. The nature of UTIs means that this usually only occurs with more serious infections, however, so if you suspect a fever is stemming from an infection in your urinary tract it’s recommended you seek professional care, especially if it’s lasted for more than a few days and isn’t showing signs of improvement.
Alongside fever as a rare symptom often indicative of more serious infections, nausea sometimes indicates a UTI which has spread to the kidneys or even other portions of the body. Individuals with gentler stomachs may experience nausea even with milder infections for many of the same reasons you may experience abdominal tenderness; inflammation, pressure from swollen tissues, etc.
Here are some things you can do at home to get relief:
- Avoid having sex.
- Drink lots of water, but avoid alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods. They can all make your symptoms worse.
- Take a pain reliever.
- Try a 15- to 20-minute soak in a warm bath.
- Use a heating pad on your lower belly.
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