A bladder infection, also termed cystitis, is an inflammation of the bladder. It occurs when bacteria enter the bladder through the urethra and travel up the urinary tract. Left untreated, the infection may travel to the kidneys, causing severe complications. Bladder infections are common, especially in woman. Many cases of cystitis will resolve without medical treatment, but a short course of antibiotics will hasten the cure.
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Look at your urine to identify the symptoms of a bladder infection. If an infection is present, urine will appear dark amber, cloudy and may have a foul odor. You may feel abdominal pain and pressure. Urinating may be difficult; only small amounts of urine may be released at a time. Some people may experience a low grade fever, explains MedlinePlus.com.
Call your medical doctor and discuss the symptoms you are experiencing. Many times, a medical doctor will prescribe antibiotics over the phone if you are a woman and fall in the low-risk category, according to the New York Times Health Guide. Low-risk women are often younger than 55, not pregnant, do not suffer from diabetes and have no symptoms of vaginitis. Still, you may be required to submit a urine sample before or after treatment.
Take all antibiotics as prescribed. Uncomplicated bladder infections often require a three day course of oral antibiotics for women and a 7 to 14 day course for men. Those suffering from diabetes or who are pregnant will take a 7 to 14 day course of antibiotics. Common antibiotics used to fight a bladder infection include amoxicillin, ampicillin and ciprofloxacin. Do not stop taking antibiotics if symptoms disappear. Symptoms generally clear up after two days, but the bacteria remains in the urinary tract.
Hydrate the body to remove the bacterial infection. Drink a glass of water every hour. Avoid caffeine or alcohol products. The caffeine irritates the lining of the urinary tract. Both beverages will dehydrate the body.
Place a heating pad, warm blanket or other heat source on the lower abdomen to decrease discomfort and pain associated with the bladder infection. Soaking in a hot bath also decreases pain.