A bladder infection is a type of urinary tract infection, in which the urinary bladder is affected. A urinary tract infection can occur anywhere in the urinary tract, from the kidneys to the urethra. Bladder infections are the most common urinary tract infections, and are medically known as cystitis. Bladder infections themselves are of several different types, and although the treatment is usually the same for any bladder infection, knowing the cause of the infection will help to prevent it from recurring in future.
Normally, there are no bacteria in the urinary bladder. A number of factors can cause bacteria to enter the bladder – these include sexual intercourse, people with compromised immune systems, and physical abnormalities including malformations of the tract itself and prostate enlargement. As a result of such factors, bacteria enter the bladder and multiply. This leads to symptoms of burning and discomfort when urinating, along with a frequent urge to urinate. There may also be blood and pus in the urine, along with a mild fever. If a bladder infection is not treated promptly, the infection can spread to other parts of the urinary tract. An infection that reaches the kidneys is extremely dangerous, which is why it is always advisable to get medical treatment if a bladder infection does not clear up by the second or third day.
Home remedies for a bladder infection consist mainly of strict hygiene and making the urine acidic. You should take a vitamin C tablet at night, before going to bed. The morning’s urine will thus be acidic and inhospitable to bacteria, which will be flushed out. Cranberry juice works in a similar way, and also has anti bacterial properties; it should therefore be drunk at least a couple of times a day. You should also drink lots of water, so as to flush the bladder frequently – remember to urinate as soon as you feel like it, instead of holding it back as you might be tempted to do. Wash your genitals with plain water each time you urinate, and a few more times over the course of the day. Avoid using a douche, unless you’re doctor has advised you to do so, as this treatment can cause more harm than good.
If in spite of these measures, the infection is still present on the third day, treatment with antibiotics may be necessary. Many people prefer to avoid antibiotics, but in such a case, there is no alternative.