A bacterial infection of the bladder or urethra, also called urinary tract infection or Cystitis-Urethritis.

Bladder infections are mainly a female problem (due to anatomy) but men can also get them.


  • frequent need to urinate despite small urine volume
  • urgency to urinate
  • burning upon urination
  • cloudy and/or scanty urine
  • blood in the urine
  • Causes:

  • sexual intercourse or other mechanical friction, where friction drives bacteria into the urethra
  • imporper hygiene: wiping back to front after a bowel movement, infrequent bathing/showering
  • anatomical variations
  • prior infections
  • Note: Some infections appear to have none of these causes. These symptoms may also be symptoms of some STDs, so be sure to see a doctor, avoid self-diagnosis.


  • urine test for presence of protein/blood, which are not present in healthy urine
  • doctor may listen to abdomen and feel for irregularity
  • urine usually sent for culture to ensure prescribed medication kills bacterial strain
  • no pelvic exam should be necessary, question any doctor who says differently
  • Treatment:

  • prescription anti-biotics are given in most cases, although some cases may clear up without
  • this medication MUST be finished as directed, if not the bacteria may come back
  • drinking at least 2 litres of water per day
  • abstaining from caffeine and alcohol consumption, as they increase urine production while on medicaion
  • avoiding sex while on medication
  • Note: If on birth control pills, a back-up method should ALWAYS be used when taking anti-biotics

    Why get treatment if it might go away on its own?:

  • without treatment the infection can move into the kidneys, where major damage can be done
  • the infection may become chronic and resistant to treatment
  • the sooner you go on medication, the sooner the uncomfortable symptoms will go away
  • Prevention:

  • urinate before and after sexual intercourse
  • urinate when the urge arises, do not wait as bacteria thrive in 'stagnant' pools
  • drink plenty of water to ensure 4+ urinations per day
  • eat or drink cranberry products, or those conainint vitamin C, as this lowers pH and inhibits bacterial growth

  • Reference: http://www.uhs.berkeley.edu/HealthInfo/EdHandouts/BladderInfection.htm

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