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  Bladder infection

Infection of the bladder is described as an inflammation of the inner lining of the urinary bladder most commonly caused by bacteria. Incidence rates of bladder infection are higher among women than men because of their shorter urethra, making it easier for the bacteria to ascend from the anus or genital area to the urinary bladder. It also often occur in young women who have just become sexually active and have frequent sexual intercourse. Pregnant women and men with an enlarged prostate gland wherein the flow of urine is blocked or emptying of the bladder is incomplete may also have frequent infection of the urinary bladder.

Bladder infection
Bladder infection

Eighty percent of cases with bladder infections are associated with Escherichia coli (E. coli) as causative agent. Escherichia coli are gram negative coliform bacteria which is a normal flora of the colon or large intestine. The other pathogenic organisms include: Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Klebsiella, Enterobacter and Proteus (urease producing bacteria) species. Risk factors are: sexual intercourse, use of a diaphragm (method of contraception), an abnormally short urethra, diabetes or chronic dehydration, the absence of specific enzyme in vaginal secretions, inadequate personal hygiene, pregnancy and vesicoureteral reflux disease (VURD), movement of urine backwards in infants.

The following are most of the urinary symptoms of a bladder infection in both men and women: painful urination (dysuria), a sudden strong desire to urinate, increase in the frequency of urination, cloudy urine with a bad smell, blood in the urine (hematuria). Patients may also experience fever, lower back pain, nausea, vomiting and shaking chills especially in cases considered to be as upper urinary tract infection (upper UTI) known as acute pyelonephritis. Lower urinary tract infection is manifested as urinary symptoms and maybe accompanied by suprapubic or hypogastric pain.

The most common laboratory examination requested to diagnose bladder infection is routine urinalysis which will reveal if bacteria is present indicating infection. The patient is also examined by the doctor focusing more on the abdomen, lower back to assess the bladder and kidneys respectively. Additional blood test such as complete blood count (CBC), fasting blood sugar may also be requested as needed. Pelvic examination is a must for female patients to rule out other underlying problem. Digital rectal examination may be performed to patients suspected to have a benign prostatic hypertrophy or enlarged prostate causing obstruction to urine flow. In patients with recurrent bladder infection, ultrasonography is done to check for any structural or anatomic abnormalities. Voiding cystourethrogram (VUCG) is a diagnostic procedure to test for the presence of incompetent ureteral flap valve known as vesicoureteral reflux disease (VURD) in infants and children with recurrent urinary tract infection.

The goal of treatment for bladder infections is to kill the bacteria and prevent the spread of infection to the kidneys. This is achieved with antibiotics class of drugs. The first line of drug belongs to the fluoroquinolone group (e.g. ofloxacin, ciprofloxacin). Treatment for women is usually short-term but still depends on the severity of the infection; most of the patients respond within three days. Men may require seven to ten days of oral antibiotics. A repeat urinalysis is necessary to ensure that the infection is gone after compliance with the complete course of antibiotic treatment. Sometimes, a urine culture and sensitivity test is needed if drug resistance is encountered. Other drug class that has a role in the treatment of bladder infection is the antispasmodics, analgesic and urinary antiseptics and sulfa (bacteriostatic) group. Reflux problem or other anatomical abnormalities in male patients need surgical treatment for correction of the abnormality and prevent recurrent infection. Ureteroneocystostomy is the surgical term for reimplantation of the ureter to a new opening at the bladder wall.

Preventive measures include: drinking large amount of water, urinating frequently and for women, emptying the bladder completely each time particularly after sexual intercourse, properly cleaning the area around the urethra, proper washing of the genital area and proper wiping (from front to back area) after defecation. For men, especially if uncircumcised, should always wash the penis during bathing.

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Propecia tablet


Women still capable of childbearing should not use or handle crushed Propecia tablets. Propecia can cause birth defects in male fetuses. Propecia belongs to the group of medicines called enzyme inhibitors. It is used to treat urinary problems caused b more...

Cephalexin tablets


Cephalexin is one of a group of Cephalosporins are used in the treatment of infections caused by bacteria. They work by killing bacteria or by preventing their growth. Be sure to tell your doctor of any allergies you have whether it is to medication or more...

Bactrim tablets


Bactrim, also known as a Sulfonamide and Trimethoprim combination, is used to prevent and treat infections. They are antibacterial medications, but will not work on the cold or flu viruses. Be sure to tell your doctor of an more...

Detrol tablets


Often called Tolterodine, Detrol is a urinary antispasmodic, and is used to treat bladder problems such as the frequent need to urinate or loss of control. Be sure to tell your doctor of any allergies you have whether it is to medication or food, prese more...

Macrobid capsule


Macrobid, or Nitrofurantoin, belongs to the family of medicines called anti-infectives, and is used to treat infections of the urinary tract. Be sure to tell your doctor of any allergies you have whether it is to medication or food, preservatives, or more...



Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic. It fights off bacteria in the body. Indications: treat urinary tract infections due to susceptible strains of Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and certain susceptible strains of Klebsiella, Enterobacter and more...

Tolterodine pill


Tolterodine relieves spasms of the bladder. It is used to treat overactive bladder with the symptoms of urinary frequency, urinary urgency, and urinary incontinence. Tolterodine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication gui more...



Ampicillin is an antibiotic in the class of drugs called penicillins. Ampicillin fights bacteria. Ampicillin is used to take care of a variety of infections, such as tonsillitis, pneumonia, bronchitis, urinary tract infections, gonorrhea, and infections of the intestines such as salmonella (food poisoning). more...

Augmentin tablets


Augmentin, a combination of Amoxicillin and Clavulanate, is one of a group of medicines called Penicillins and Beta-Lactamase inhibitors that are used to treat bacterial infections. Augmentin works by killing or preventing the growth of bacteria. Beta-Lac more...

Flomax capsule


Flomax, also known as Tamsulosin, is used to treat the signs and symptoms of enlargement of the prostate. Benign enlargement of the prostate is a problem that can occur in men as they get older. As the prostate gland enlarges, certain muscles in the gland more...

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