What Causes A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections are caused by microorganisms usually bacteria that enter the urethra and bladder, causing inflammation and infection. Though a UTI most commonly happens in the urethra and bladder, bacteria can also travel up the ureters and infect your kidneys.
More than 90% of bladder infection cases are caused by E. coli, a bacterium normally found in the intestines.
Urinary Tract Infections In Women
UTIs are common, particularly with increasing age. Women are more likely to get a UTI than men. Nearly 1 in 3 women will have a UTI needing treatment before the age of 24.
In women, the urethra is short and straight, making it easier for germs to travel into the bladder. For some women, UTIs relate to changes in their hormonal levels. Some are more likely to get an infection during certain times in their menstrual cycle, such as just before a period or during pregnancy.
In older women, the tissues of the urethra and bladder become thinner and drier with age as well as after menopause or a hysterectomy. This can be linked to increased UTIs.
During pregnancy, the drainage system from the kidney to the bladder widens so urine does not drain as quickly. This makes it easier to get a UTI. Sometimes germs can move from the bladder to the kidney causing a kidney infection. UTIs during pregnancy can result in increased blood pressure, so it is very important to have them treated as soon as possible.
Women are more at risk of repeated UTIs if they:
- use spermicide jelly or diaphragm for contraception
- have had a new sexual partner in the last year
- had their first UTI at or before 15 years of age
- have a family history of repeated UTIs, particularly their mother
- suffer from constipation
What Could Be Mistaken For A Uti
There are several conditions whose symptoms mimic UTIs. Sexually transmitted infections cause symptoms also common in UTIs, such as painful urination and discharge.
Vaginitis, caused by bacteria or yeast, can result in a burning sensation when urinating and similar discomfort that may mimic a UTI.
Often mistaken for a UTI, interstitial cystitis , or painful bladder condition, is a chronic condition affecting the bladder that does not improve with antibiotic treatment. Symptoms of IC include increased urgency and more frequent urination as well as pain in the pelvic area.
Other conditions to rule out are overactive bladder, pregnancy, prostatitis, diabetes, cancer, and kidney stones.
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Bladder Infection Vs Uti: What’s The Difference
You keep running to the bathroom to peeor setting up shop closer to the bathroomonly to produce a few drops. On top of that dissatisfying trickle, it feels like you have killer cramps and burns when you go. You guessed it you likely have a bladder infection or a urinary tract infection . But dont panic. UTIs are common and you can get treatment for a UTI online.
When To See A Doctor
Although the body may sometimes fight off a UTI on its own, waiting for this to happen carries risks. UTIs can quickly spread, causing serious kidney infections.
A person should see a doctor for any symptoms of a UTI, particularly if they are pregnant or have an underlying health condition that affects their immune system.
A person with should go to the emergency room for immediate medical care. The symptoms of a kidney infection include:
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Ok Got It But Then What Is A Kidney Infection
A kidney infection is, in essence, a UTI that has spread into the kidneys. While this type of infection is rare, its also very dangerous and if youre experiencing any of the following signs of a kidney infection, you should see a doctor immediately:
Upper back or side pain
Fever, shaking or chills
While most kidney infections can be treated simply with an antibiotic, if left untreated, a kidney infection can cause damage to your kidneys, leading to chronic kidney disease. The bacteria could even spread to your bloodstream creating a life-threatening situation.
How Do I Know If I’m Getting A Bladder Infection
Your symptoms of bladder infection will depend on the severity. You might notice changes in urination such as frequency , urgency , pain or burning when you pee, bloody or cloudy appearing urine, foul-smelling urine, and pressure or cramping in the lower back or lower abdomen.
When a bladder infection spreads to the kidneys , it can also cause mid-back pain. This back pain is unlike muscular back pain. It is not brought on or made worse by activity or position. A kidney infection can also cause additional symptoms such as fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and a general feeling of illness.
If you suspect you have a bladder infection, seek care from a healthcare provider as soon as possible, certainly if your symptoms do not go away in a day or two. Older individuals, pregnant women, and people with diabetes should see a doctor right away. Early treatment is essential to prevent the spread of the infection to the kidneys. As mentioned, kidney infections require urgent medical attention because they can lead to serious complications.
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Cystitis Or Uti Whats The Difference
Is it cystitis or UTI? Unless youre medically trained this may not be the first question you ask yourself when rushing back to the toilet for another painful experience. We all come across complicated sounding medical terms from time to time, but do we really know what they mean?
Having a better idea of what cystitis and UTIs are can help explain why you may have those painful symptoms and why different types of self-care may be useful in relieving symptoms or even preventing them reoccurring. It may also help you decide when its time to get help.
So, here are some of the basics on UTIs and cystitis plus a few other terms you may come across along the way.
Whats The Difference Between A Urinary Tract Infection And Bladder Infection
A urinary tract infection is a more general type of infection. There are many parts of your urinary tract. A UTI is a term for an infection that takes place throughout the urinary tract. A bladder infection, also called cystitis, is a specific infection. In this infection, bacteria makes its way into the bladder and causes inflammation.
Not all urinary tract infections become bladder infections. Preventing the spread of the infection is one of the most important reasons to treat a UTI quickly when you have symptoms. The infection can spread not only to the bladder, but also into your kidneys, which is a more complicated type of infection than a UTI.
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What Are Other Causes Of Kidney Infection
Although a kidney infection can result from a bladder infection, a kidney infection doesnât always begin with a bladder infection. Anything that changes the bacterial environment in your urinary tract system can increase the risk of infection, including any inflammation of the area, menopause, or the intake of medications altering the hormones in your body.
People with a weakened immune system are also at increased risk of developing infections. This includes people with malfunctioning bladder, urethra, or ureters, and anyone with a condition that suppresses the immune system, such as HIV/AIDS, diabetes, or chemotherapy.
Although rare, they can develop a kidney infection through their bloodstream due to their immune systemâs state. Bacterial or fungal infections on the skin can spread into the blood and end up in the kidney during the blood filtering stage.
Uti Or Cystitis Whats The Difference
Is it a UTI or cystitis? Unless youre medically trained this may not be the first question you ask yourself when rushing back to the toilet for another painful experience.
A UTI is a general term used to describe an infection that can occur anywhere in the urinary tract .
When an infection has been medically diagnosed in the bladder lining, it is called cystitis and this is the most common type of UTI seen in women.
Having a better idea of what UTIs and cystitis are can help explain why you may have those painful symptoms and why different types of self-care may be useful in relieving symptoms or even preventing them reoccurring. It may also help you decide when its time to get help.
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Treatment Of Kidney Infection
Most kidney infections need prompt treatment with antibiotics to stop the infection damaging the kidneys or spreading to the bloodstream.
You may also need painkillers.
If youre especially vulnerable to the effects of an infection , you may be admitted to hospital and treated with antibiotics through a drip.
Most people who are diagnosed and treated promptly with antibiotics feel completely better after about 2 weeks.
People who are older or have underlying conditions may take longer to recover.
What Are The Treatments For A Bladder Infection Vs A Uti
How a doctor deals with a patient’s UTI depends on where it’s located, what caused it, how severe the infection is, and whether there are other complicating factors to consider.
An uncomplicated bladder infection can sometimes clear up on its own. But given that it can turn into a more severe infection, you might be better off with a prescription for some oral antibiotics to kill off the bacteria. Per the American Urological Association , treatment for uncomplicated bladder infections typically involves taking one of the following:
- A single dose of Fosfomycin.
- Nitrofurantoin for five days.
- Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole DS for three days.
If you have a more complicated bladder infection, you may need to rely on other types of antibiotics and take them for up to 14 days to clear out the infection. Either way, you should start to feel better within a couple of days of taking the meds but be sure to finish the full course of antibiotics. Otherwise, resistant bacteria could grow and create a new infection that’s harder to cure.
Doctors may also give you additional fluids through the IV. And that’s assuming you don’t get a complication, such as sepsis. Once the IV antibiotics help you feel better, you can generally go home and finish treating the UTI with more antibiotics for a total of 14 days, per the AUA.
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Is A Bladder Infection The Same As A Urinary Tract Infection Uti
A urinary tract infection UTI is an infection in any part of the urinary tract. The urinary tract consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra.
- An infection in the kidneys is called pyelonephritis or kidney infection.
- An infection in the ureters rarely occurs in isolation.
- An infection in the urinary bladder is called cystitis or bladder infection.
- An infection in the urethra is called urethritis.
The terms urinary tract infection UTI and bladder infection are often used interchangeably. However, a bladder infection is a type of urinary tract infection. In other words, a bladder infection is a UTI located in the bladder. A UTI can occur in the bladder or at some other place in the urinary system . All bladder infections are urinary tract infections. But all urinary tract infections are not bladder infections.
If you sense an infection of the urinary system, it is important to get prompt advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a healthcare professional.
Types Of Urinary Tract Conditions
A urinary tract infection refers to an infection in any area of the urinary tract. Conditions that can occur in the urinary tract or with the potential to lead to complicated infections include:
- Urethritis: An inflammation of the urethra, usually caused by an infection for example, a sexually transmitted disease such as chlamydia
- Cystitis: An infection in the bladder that has often moved up from the urethra, also one of the most common UTIs
- Nephritis: Any type of kidney inflammation
- Pyelonephritis: An infection in one or both kidneys
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Who Is Most Susceptible To A Bladder Infection
UTIs are more common in women than men. This is partly due to their anatomy in women, the urethra is shorter, which makes it easier for bacteria to travel to the bladder and cause an infection.
Other risk factors for bladder infection include:
Any medical condition or injury that prevents you from emptying your bladder completely
Any medical condition that weakens your immune system
Being a woman in or after menopause
Having a UTI in the past
Needing to have a bladder catheter
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent UTIs. These include the following:
Drink plenty of water.
Empty your bladder immediately after sex.
Dont hold it when you feel the need to go.
Think about switching to a different method of birth control if you currently use one with spermicide.
Consider vaginal estrogen if youve gone through menopause.
Some people may benefit from cranberry supplements or antibiotics, especially if recurrent UTIs are a problem. You can learn more here about preventing UTIs.
Treating Utis And Bladder Infections
UTIs and bladder infections are typically treated with antibiotics prescribed by a doctor. In order for the infection to go away completely, you need to take the full course of antibiotics, which lasts 3-7 days in most instances but can last longer.
It takes a bit of time for the inflammation to clear up every once the antibiotic begins working, though most people note significant improvement within 48 hours of being on the right antibiotic.
If antibiotics bother your stomach , consider taking probiotics to repopulate your good gut bacteria. This may also help you stay healthy and boost your bodys infection-fighting potential.
In the meantime, drink plenty of water so the flow of urine can help you flush out your system. You might also want to avoid sexual activity while youre recovering because its probably not going to feel great while your urinary tract is inflamed.
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Bladder Infection Is A Specific Type Of Urinary Tract Infection
Cystitis is inflammation of the bladder. Most cystitis is from bacterial infections involving the bladder and less commonly may be the result of yeast infections, viral infections, chemical irritants of the bladder, or for unknown reasons . Bladder infection is a type of urinary tract infection . This review will specifically address infectious cystitis.
The urine in the bladder is normally free of bacteria . However, bacteria may be present in the bladder but not cause inflammation or symptoms of an infection. This is called asymptomatic bacteriuria and is not cystitis.
Cystitis can be complicated or uncomplicated. Uncomplicated cystitis is a bladder infection in a healthy person with a structurally and functionally normal urinary tract. A complicated bladder infection is one that occurs in association with factors that increase the chance of developing a bacterial infection and decrease the chance of antibiotic therapy being effective. Such abnormalities include obstruction from stones, congenital blockages, urethral strictures, and prostate enlargement.
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How Long Does It Take To Recover
Both UTIs and yeast infections should clear up after taking medications within days or a few weeks. You must make sure to take prescribed or over-the-counter medication as directed for the entire recommended length of time to prevent the infection from returning.
You may be able to prevent both UTIs and yeast infections by practicing good hygiene and making changes to your wardrobe. Here are some prevention tips:
- Wipe from front to back after a bowel movement.
- Avoid tight-fitting clothing around your genital area, such as pantyhose and restrictive pants.
- Change out of wet swimsuits quickly.
- Avoid scented feminine hygiene products.
Further prevention of UTIs include:
- using the bathroom frequently
- regularly drinking lots of fluid
- urinating before and after sex
Its also possible that drinking cranberry juice can prevent UTIs. The research results are mixed. Make sure to choose a sugar-free version. If the juice is too tart, you can water it down to make the juice more palatable.
You may also be able to reduce your chances of contracting a yeast infection if you:
- avoid hot baths and hot tubs
- change your feminine products often
- control your blood sugar if you have diabetes
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Diagnosis Of Bladder Cancer
Along with the tests done if a bladder infection is suspected, a medical professional diagnosing bladder cancer will likely order or perform several more tests.
They may order a set of X-rays called an intravenous pyelogram, which lets them check the kidneys, ureters, and bladder for cancers.
Its also possible the medical professional would order a biopsy of the bladder during the cystoscopy exam. This biopsy removes a sample of the inner lining of the bladder in the area they think might be cancerous. The surgeon may even remove the entire tumor.
A specialist doctor called a pathologist then looks at the cells in the biopsy sample for signs of cancer.
How Are Urinary Tract Infections Diagnosed
Your doctor will use the following tests to diagnose a urinary tract infection:
- Urinalysis: This test will examine the urine for red blood cells, white blood cells and bacteria. The number of white and red blood cells found in your urine can actually indicate an infection.
- Urine culture: A urine culture is used to determine the type of bacteria in your urine. This is an important test because it helps determine the appropriate treatment.
If your infection does not respond to treatment or if you keep getting infections over and over again, your doctor may use the following tests to examine your urinary tract for disease or injury:
- Ultrasound: In this test, sound waves create an image of the internal organs. This test is done on top of your skin, is painless and doesnt typically need any preparation.
- Cystoscopy: This test uses a special instrument fitted with a lens and a light source to see inside the bladder from the urethra.
- CT scan: Another imaging test, a CT scan is a type of X-ray that takes cross sections of the body . This test is much more precise than typical X-rays.
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