Kidney and bladder health

25 May 2015

The symptoms of bladder infection

Bladder infections are common - and unpleasant. Here are some basic facts about this infection, followed by a summary of the symptoms.

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Bladder infections are common - and unpleasant. Here are some basic facts about this infection, followed by a summary of the symptoms:

  • 25-30% of women between the age of 20 and 40 years have had urinary tract infections
  • 80% of urinary tract infections are caused by the bacterium E.coli
  • 40% of patients with a urinary tract infection have a recurrence within one year
  • All men and children with even one urinary tract infection, and women with recurrent infections, should be investigated for underlying causes
  • Obstruction plus infection is a true medical emergency
  • The vast majority of urinary tract infections can be treated successfully with antibiotics
  • Complications are not common, but can be serious or even fatal

 

Lower urinary tract infection are also known as 'cystitis'. Here's more about the symptoms and how you can tell if that's what you might have. It is recommended that you go to the doctor if you suspect you may have cystitis.

  • Frequency: the frequent passage of small amounts of urine
  • Urgency: a great desire to urinate, with difficulty postponing urination (urgency is usually associated with frequency)
  • Dysuria: pain and burning while passing urine
  • Haematuria: blood in the urine

 

Patients with cystitis have severe local (bladder) symptoms, but tend not to be systemically unwell. Fever, rigors and a fast heart rate are usually absent.

Note that blood in the urine can be caused by other more sinister causes than cystitis, such as bladder cancer. Blood in the urine should not be assumed to be due to cystitis unless other more serious causes have been excluded.

Visit the Kidney and Bladder Centre for more info.

 

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