Female Bladder Infection Symptoms

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A bladder infection (also called cystitis or a urinary tract infection) is an inflammation of the urinary system or the urinary bladder caused by bacteria like E. coli and staph. There are so common that most people will experience at least one bladder infection in their lifetime. Pregnant women, the elderly and infants are especially prone to them. Treatment is relatively easy.

Causes

  • Bladder infections are caused by bacteria that have found their way into the urethra, such as E. coli or staph. These bacteria are normally found on the skin, in the intestinal tract or in the stool. There are several ways to spread bacteria into your urinary system, including normal sexual activity and poor hygiene. Wiping back to front after a bowel movement can increase your risk of a bladder infection.

Dysuria

  • Dysuria, or blood in the urine, is often associated with sexually transmitted diseases but it is also a symptom of a bladder infection. There may be a lot of blood or just a small tinge of it. Either way, it is a sign that your kidneys are in distress and may mean that your bladder infection has progressed to a kidney infection. As a rule, the farther up your urinary tract that a bladder infection has progressed, the more serious it has become.

Urine Changes

  • The biggest product of your urinary system is urine and so it can hold telltale signs of urinary distress. Blood in the urine is not the only sign of a bladder infection. A bladder infection may show up as darker urine than normal. Of course, urine is fairly smelly to begin with. However, a bladder infection can make your urine smell worse than usual.

Urination Problems

  • A bladder infection can also change the way you urinate. The bacteria irritating your bladder can cause problems with the nerve endings there. You may feel the urge to urinate much more often than usual. Even if you do find yourself running to the bathroom all the time, little or no urine may come out. When you do urinate, the bacteria irritating your urethra can cause a painful burning sensation.

Lower Body Pain

  • Bladder infections can be very painful. You can experience pain every time you try to urinate in addition to the burning sensation. You may also experience cramping, burning or pain in your pelvis or lower back. The symptoms in your pelvis are caused by the inflamed bladder and the lower back pain is caused by an irritated kidney.

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  • Photo Credit adria.richards: Flicker.com
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