How can I Treat a Bladder Infection?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Bladder infections, which are infections of the urinary tract that occur specifically in the bladder, are a fairly common occurrence. It’s important to treat these appropriately per doctor’s recommendations. The first thing you should look for are signs that you have a bladder infection.

Cranberry pills can help with a bladder infection.
Cranberry pills can help with a bladder infection.

Symptoms of a bladder infection may include cloudy, bloody, or dark urine, and the need to frequently urinate. When you urinate, you may only pass small amounts of urine, and some people note that there is a burning sensation when urine passes. You may have a slight fever and feel pressure or discomfort in your abdomen and pelvis.

Drinking cranberry juice may help fight bladder infections.
Drinking cranberry juice may help fight bladder infections.

These symptoms indicate that you should see a doctor, unless you suffer from chronic bladder infections and have a treatment plan already established with your physician. The best method to treat a bladder infection is by eliminating the bacteria that usually causes them. When diagnosed, your doctor or health care provider is likely to prescribe antibiotics to help the condition resolve.

A cutaway of a female body showing the bladder in dark pink.
A cutaway of a female body showing the bladder in dark pink.

You may start feeling better within a few days of antibiotic treatment, but it is important to finish your whole prescription. Failure to do so can make the bladder infection recur and be more aggressive. Treatment with antibiotics also helps keep the infection from moving to other parts of the urinary tract. Another treatment you may need is a mild pain reliever during the first few days. Many people can control pain with over the counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

A slight fever can accompany a bladder infection.
A slight fever can accompany a bladder infection.

If you do not seem to be recovering from a bladder infection within a few days to a week after beginning treatment, contact your doctor. Sometimes it's necessary to use a different antibiotic to treat certain types of infections, and your doctor may want to change antibiotics. Most bladder infections are not serious and respond to first treatments quite well. The fact that these infections tend not to have complications when treated should not discourage you from getting medical care. When bladder infections are ignored, they can affect other parts of the urinary tract and may sometimes create permanent kidney damage.

A bath in apple cider vinegar and water may help relieve a bladder infection.
A bath in apple cider vinegar and water may help relieve a bladder infection.

Women seem more prone to bladder infections than do men, and some people seem in general more likely to get them than others. There are a few ways you may be able to reduce the likelihood of getting a bladder infection. For instance, keeping hydrated by drinking plenty of caffeine free liquids can help you reduce the likelihood of infection. Water is good but unsweetened cranberry may be a useful remedy because it has some properties that help fight infections.

It is important to stay hydrated while dealing with a bladder infection.
It is important to stay hydrated while dealing with a bladder infection.

Another recommendation is that after you use the bathroom, you should wipe from front to back. You may also get fewer bladder infections if you avoid using feminine products that contain deodorizing agents. Some medical professionals recommend avoiding colored or scented toilet paper.

Antibiotics are the most commonly used treatment for bladder infections.
Antibiotics are the most commonly used treatment for bladder infections.
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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