What Are the Basics of a Bladder Infection?

What is a bladder infection?

A bladder infection, also known as cystitis, refers to an infection in the bladder. It is a type of urinary tract infection (UTI) and often caused by bacterial infections. But sometimes viral infections, yeast infections, or chemical irritants can also lead to a bladder infection.

What is the urinary tract?

First, we need to know the urinary tract. The urinary tract involves kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. The kidneys are responsible for clean waste from blood and make urine, then the ureters carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. The bladder can store urine and the urine will flow out of the body through the urethra.

Urinary tract

What causes a bladder infection?

A bladder infection is often caused by bacteria, such as Escherichia coli. The bacteria usually exist in your large intestines and skin. A bladder infection occurs when the bacteria enter your bladder through the urethra and cause infections.

Because a woman’s urethra is shorter, and the outside opening is close to anus, a woman is more likely to get bladder infections than a man.

Some factors may increase the risk of a bladder infection, including:

  • Aging.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Diabetes.
  • Insufficient fluid intake.
  • A urinary catheter.
  • Narrowed urethra.
  • Enlarged prostate.
  • Bowel incontinence.
  • Weakened immune system.
  • Surgery within the urinary tract.

What are the symptoms of a bladder infection?

The common signs and symptoms include:

  • Pain or burning sensation when you’re urinating.
  • Urinate in small amounts at a time.
  • Cloudy or bloody urine.
  • Urinate frequently.
  • Foul-smelling urine.
  • Have an urgent need to urinate.
  • Pain around your pelvis.

How to diagnose a bladder infection?

In order to diagnose a bladder infection, your doctor will start with asking your symptoms and doing a physical exam. You may also provide a urine sample to check the red blood cells, white blood cells, nitrites and bacteria in the sample. Sometimes, your doctor may perform a urine culture to determine the bacteria that cause infection.

What is the treatment of a bladder infection?

A bladder infection can be treated by selfcare at home and medications.

At-home selfcare

  • Avoid having sex.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods.
  • Drink a lot of water.
  • Take showers instead of baths.
  • Urinate as soon as you feel the need.
  • Put a heating pad on your lower belly.
  • Wipe from front to back after urinating if you are female.


  • Antibiotics.
  • Pain medications, such as phenazopyridine (Pyridium).

Please consult medical professionals if you want to learn more about a bladder infection.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.