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Bladder infection

Bladder infection: Introduction

A bladder infection is a common type of urinary tract infection. It is the result of an invasion of bacteria into the bladder. A bladder infection is also sometimes called cystitis, although cystitis is a general term for an inflammation of the bladder that can occur without a bacterial infection.

The bladder is a muscular organ of the urinary tract whose function is to temporarily store urine until it is expelled from the body through the urethra. Normally, the bladder, urethra and the rest of the urinary tract, including the urine, ureters and the kidneys, are sterile. This means that they contain no bacteria or other microorganisms. However, bacteria can get into the bladder from outside the body through the urethra. Bacteria can also come from other parts of the body that are infected by spreading through the bloodstream into the urinary tract.

A bladder infection results in symptoms that typically include burning with urination, difficulty urinating, an urge to urinate frequently, and bloody urine. Symptoms may vary between individuals in character and intensity. For more information on symptoms, refer to symptoms of bladder infection.

Bladder infections can lead to potentially serious, even life-threatening complications in some people, especially of left untreated. These include pyelonephritis, kidney damage, sepsis and problems with a pregnancy, such premature birth and having a low birth weight baby.

Bladder infections occur more commonly in women than in men, because the urethra in women is shorter than a man's. This makes it easier for bacteria to get into the female bladder. Women who are sexually active, who use diaphragms for birth control, and/or are past menopause are at an increased risk for a bladder infection.

Certain other populations are also at a higher risk for developing bladder infections. They include older adults and the elderly and people with a history of kidney stones, kidney disease, or chronic conditions that affect the immune system, such as HIV/AIDS and diabetes. People who have an indwelling catheter in their bladder are also at risk.

Making a diagnosis of a bladder infection begins with taking a thorough personal and family medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination. It also includes performing a urinalysis test, which checks for the presence of pus, white blood cells, and bacteria in the urine, which point to a bladder infection. A urine culture and sensitivity is usually performed to find the exact microorganism that is causing the infection and to determine the most effective antibiotic to treat it.

A diagnosis of a bladder infection can easily be missed or delayed in older populations. This is because some symptoms, such as fatigue and weakness, may not be noticed or might be associated with aging. For information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of bladder infection.

Mild bladder infections that are not accompanied with complications, such as pyelonephritis, are generally treated with oral antibiotic medications. People are also encouraged to drink plenty of water to help flush bacteria out of the bladder. The prognosis and the chance for a cure without complications are good for people who are generally healthy.

More serious infections, such as those in people with HIV/AIDS or in the elderly, may require hospitalization, especially if there are complications, such as sepsis. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of bladder infections....more »

Bladder infection: Misdiagnosis

People who are young or middle-aged are often diagnosed and treated quickly with a bladder infection. This is because the symptoms are often so painful and/or inconvenient that they seek prompt medical care.

However, in the elderly population, symptoms of a bladder infection can be easily overlooked, delaying a diagnosis. Elderly people with a ...more misdiagnosis »

Causes of Bladder infection:

The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Bladder infection. There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor about your symptoms.

» Review Causes of Bladder infection: Causes | Symptom Checker »

Home Diagnostic Testing and Bladder infection

Home medical tests possibly related to Bladder infection:

Bladder infection: Symptom Checker

Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Bladder infection, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.

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Bladder infection Treatments

The first step in treating a bladder infection is prevention. Prevention measures include drinking plenty of fluids, urinating as soon as possible when the urge is felt, and drinking cranberry juice, which may have infection-fighting qualities.

For women, prevention measure include urinating promptly after having sexual intercourse, wiping the genital area from ...Bladder infection Treatments

Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Bladder infection may include:

Review further information on Bladder infection Treatments.

Alternative Treatments for Bladder infection

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed as possibly helpful for Bladder infection may include:

Stories from Users for Bladder infection

Real-life user stories relating to Bladder infection:

Bladder infection: Comorbid Symptoms

Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Bladder infection may include these symptoms:

Causes of General Symptom Types

Research the causes of these more general types of symptom:

Research the causes of related medical symptoms such as:

Bladder infection: Deaths

Read more about causes and Bladder infection deaths.

Misdiagnosis and Bladder infection

Antibiotics often causes diarrhea: The use of antibiotics are very likely to cause some level of diarrhea in patients. The reason is that antibiotics kill off not only "bad" bacteria, but can also kill the ...read more »

Interstitial cystitis an under-diagnosed bladder condition: The medical condition of interstitial cystitic is a bladder condition that can be misdiagnosed as various conditions such as overactive bladder or other causes of pelvic pain. This...read more »

Bladder infection: Research Related Doctors & Specialists

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Hospitals & Clinics: Bladder infection

Research extensive quality ratings and patient safety measures for hospitals, clinics and medical facilities in health specialties related to Bladder infection:

Bladder infection: Undiagnosed Conditions

Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:

Detailed list of causes of Bladder infection

The list below shows some of the causes of Bladder infection mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Bladder infection?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Bladder infection. Of the 10 causes of Bladder infection that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 0 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 3 causes are "common" diseases
  • 1 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 0 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 2 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 8 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Bladder infection:

The following list of conditions have 'Bladder infection' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Bladder infection or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Bladder infection:

The following list of medical conditions have Bladder infection or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

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Causes of Bladder infection Based on Risk Factors

This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Bladder infection based on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:

  • Travel - has the patient travelled recently?
  • Diabetes - history of diabetes or family history of diabetes?

    Classifications of Bladder infection:

    Medical Conditions associated with Bladder infection:

    Bladder symptoms (1010 causes), Urinary problems (1033 causes), Digestive symptoms (5299 causes), Abdominal symptoms (5930 causes), Urinary difficulty (648 causes), Urinary symptoms (1228 causes), Sexual symptoms (1838 causes), Intercourse symptoms (258 causes), Lower abdominal symptoms (3048 causes)

    Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

    Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

    These general medical articles may be of interest:

    Related medical articles from our Disease Center for Cystitis:

    More Ways To Research Medical Signs and Symptoms:

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