Bladder infections, also called urinary tract infections (UTIs), are caused by bacteria in the urinary tract. Both males and females can get UTIs, but they are more common in females. The reason why women are more prone to bladder infections is because they have shorter urethras, which makes it easier for bacteria to reach the bladder. The main symptoms of bladder infections are frequent urination and burning upon urination. As the infection worsens, burning in the urethra can be felt constantly. A UTI that is left untreated can spread to the kidneys. Treatment requires antibiotics prescribed by a medical professional. While waiting for the antibiotics to take effect, home remedies can be used to relieve bladder infection discomfort.
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Drink six 8 ounces glasses of water a day to flush bacteria out of the bladder. Another advantage to drinking a lot of water is that it dilutes the urine, which makes it burn less when you urinate.
Urinate as soon as possible whenever you have the urge. An empty bladder keeps bacteria-ridden urine out of the bladder. Women should wipe from the front to the back, starting at the vagina and ending toward the anus, to prevent contaminating the urethra with fecal bacteria.
Cleanse the urethra by pouring a cup of warm water over the penis or vagina after urinating to remove bacteria from the genitals and to relieve the burning sensation caused by the bladder infection.
Relieve bladder-infection discomfort by soaking in a warm bath. Avoid using bubble bath or other bath additives that could irritate the urethra.
Drink two to three 8-ounce glasses of cranberry juice a day to aid healing. Water intake can be reduced to make up for the amount of cranberry juice that you drink. According to the Infectious Diseases Society of America, cranberry juice prevents some strains of bacteria "from adhering to uroepithelial cells in the urinary tract".
Eat yogurt that contains active Lactobacillus acidophilus. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Lactobacillus acidophilus boosts the immune system and prevents or reduces future bladder infections. Women can also use Lactobacillus acidophilus internally in the vagina. Insert 1-2 capsules or tablets of Lactobacillus acidophilus into the vagina once a day for two weeks to reduce bladder inflammation.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Clinical Infectious Diseases 38:1413–1419; Cranberry Juice and Urinary Tract Infection; Infectious Diseases Society of America; R. Raz, B. Chazan, M. Dan; January 2004
- University of Maryland Medical Center - Lactobacillus Acidophilus
- Your Urinary System and How It Works