Bladder infection Symptoms, what are they?
Bladder infections are one of the milder form of a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). While the symptoms are often uncomfortable or painful, they should get better with prompt treatment.
There are a number of common symptoms to look out for. If you notice any of the following, you should see a doctor to check if you have a bladder infection:
- Pain or burning sensation when you urinate
- Cloudy or smelly urine
- Blood in your urine
- Frequent urination
- Frequently feeling like you need to urinate, even if you don’t
- Feeling like you can’t fully empty your bladder
- Stomach cramps
- Back pain
- Generally feeling unwell
The severity of your infection will determine how painful these symptoms are. Some people find it helpful to hold a hot water bottle against their stomach to ease the pain. This is a good trick to use until you can see a doctor and get some effective treatment.
Bladder infection symptoms in women
Women are much more prone to bladder infections than men, because their urethras are much shorter. This means that bacteria have less distance to travel to reach the bladder.
Not only that, the female urethra is found closer to the rectum than the male urethra, which also means the bacteria responsible for bladder infections don’t have to go as far to cause damage.
While your symptoms can come on suddenly, some women find they suffer from chronic bladder infections, where their symptoms keep returning a few weeks after the last infection was successfully treated. Make sure you mention to the doctor that you suffer from repeated infections, as this will help them make a quick diagnosis and prescribe the correct treatment.
For more information on why your symptoms keep coming back, take a look at the causes of bladder infections.
Bladder infection symptoms in men
Bladder infections in men are rare, especially in those under the age of 50. When they do occur, the symptoms are very similar to those experienced by women.
As well as the more common symptoms, some older men feel generally under the weather or show symptoms of confusion, without any urinary symptoms.
They may also have difficulty going to the toilet if their bladder infection has been caused by an enlarged prostate, which is another condition that tends to only affect the over-50s.
What happens if your bladder infection is left untreated?
While the symptoms of a bladder infection can usually be treated easily, if you don’t see a doctor about it, the bacteria could spread to other parts of your urinary tract.
This can lead to much more serious illnesses, such as a kidney infection. While your bladder is found in your lower urinary tract, along with your urethra, your kidneys are found further along in the upper urinary tract.
If bacteria are allowed to travel this far, they can cause much more serious health problems. Symptoms of a kidney infection include a fever, nausea, vomiting, feeling constantly cold and pain where your kidneys are (just under your ribs at the back).
If you notice any of these symptoms, your infection may have progressed to the point where you need urgent medical treatment.
See a doctor about your symptoms
As you can see, when it comes to bladder infections, it’s much better to be safe than sorry. Don’t be tempted to ‘wait and see’, book an appointment with our online doctors as soon as you notice symptoms that suggest a bladder infection.