Bladder infections are known as inflammation of the bladder or cystitis. They are rare in men, but common in women.
During their lives, more than half of all women get at least one bladder infection. However, as man ages, his chance of getting cystitis is getting bigger, due to in part of an increase in size of prostate.
The experts are not sure exactly why men have so less bladder infections than women. One of the reasons for this may be because women have a shorter urethra, which is a tube that carries out the urine of the bladder. This passageway is only about 1.5 inches long, which makes it easier for bacteria to find their way into the bladder.
In addition, the opening to a woman’s urethra lies close to the anus and the vagina. For this reason it is easier for bacteria to go from those areas into the urinary tract. If they are treated right away, bladder infections are not serious treat. However, these infections tend to come back in some people. This can lead to kidney infection, which happens rarely.
Kidney infections are more serious condition which can cause permanent kidney damage. Therefore, it is very important to treat causes of bladder infections. Also, in elderly people, it is harder to diagnose bladder infections. The symptoms are frequently blamed in aging and less specific. Older people who begin acting confused or lethargic or suddenly become incontinent should be checked for a bladder infection by their doctor.
Causes of bladder infections
Most bladder infections are caused by bacteria which typically lives in the gut. Sometimes, women get bladder infections after sex. It is much easier for bacteria to get into the bladder through the urethra during vaginal intercourse. The risk for bladder infection increases with frequent sex.
Pregnant women are also prone to infections, because their urinary tracts change in response to hormones and increased kidney function. Also, the use of spermicides alone or with the condoms with diaphragms increase the risk of urinary tract infections. Bladder infections my be potentially serious and quite uncomfortable. However, for most women they are relatively harmless if treated and clear up quickly.
A bladder infection in men can be a symptom of an underlying disorder and it is usually a cause for concern. It can indicate that there is an obstruction which interferes with the urinary tract. According to some studies, uncircumcised boys may get a bladder infection during their first 5 years of life, because the bacteria can collect under the foreskin.
During a few past years, a more and more bladder infections are caused by two sexually transmitted bacteria called mycoplasma and chlamydia. Tubes inserted into the bladder to empty it, both hospital and home catheters, can also lead to the infection. In addition, people may develop symptoms of bladder infection even when they are not infected.
Symptoms of a bladder infection
Bladder infections are caused by bacteria or germs which enter through the urethra and go all the way into the bladder. Usually, you body is able to remove the bacteria during urination. Although, occasionally the bacteria attach to the bladder’s walls and multiply very fast, overwhelming the ability of your body to destroy them, which results in a bladder infection.
In case you have a bladder infection, you can experience one or a few symptoms, such as foul-smelling urine, burning or pain when urinating, pressure or cramping in the lower back or lower abdomen, frequent feeling of having to urinate, even when your bladder is empty, bloody or cloudy urine, and low fever which is rare with a bladder infection, but it can be a sign that the infection spread to the kidneys.