Your urinary tract continuously works hard to remove wastes, fluids, and toxins from your body. For your urinary tract to function properly, everything needs to work together and in the right order. Conditions like a urinary tract infection can gum up the works, making it difficult and possibly even painful to urinate.

The Urinary System

Your urinary system, or urinary tract, is made up of the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra and is divided into two parts. The upper part contains the kidneys and ureters and the lower tract includes the bladder and urethra.  

The kidneys are located toward the back of your upper abdomen and are responsible for making urine and for filtering fluid and waste from your blood. Once made, urine moves from the kidneys to the bladder through narrow tubes called ureters. Urine will then sit in the bladder until it travels out of the body during urination through another small tube called the urethra.

The ureters are twin tubes that carry urine to the bladder from the kidneys. In men, the urethra is a single tube that carries urine past your prostate and out through the tip of the penis.

If harmful bacteria reaches your urinary tract, you can end up with a common condition known as a urinary tract infection, or UTI.

Urinary Tract Infections

A UTI is an infection in any part of the urinary system, including the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. Most UTIs are in the lower urinary tract and are caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract through the urethra.

UTIs are more common in women simply due to anatomy. Women have a shorter urethra, making them 30 times more likely to get a UTI. However, just because women are more susceptible to bladder infections, this doesn’t mean men don’t get them too.

In men, UTIs are classified as complicated infections and happen more often in older men. The reason for this is thought to be due to older males being more likely to develop prostate issues, particularly a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia.

In benign prostatic hyperplasia, the prostate gland enlarges and puts pressure on the bladder where the urethra connects to it. This compression of the bladder neck makes it harder for urine to flow and to flush out any bacteria.

Bladder Infection Symptoms

  • Increased urination
  • Frequently feeling the urge to urinate, even if you don’t have to go
  • Burning or tingling sensation when urinating
  • Cloudy urine
  • Strong smelling urine
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Blood in the urine
  • Low-grade fever

If a bladder infection is left untreated, there is a higher risk of developing more serious health complications like kidney infections, chronic kidney disease, and kidney failure. Kidney infections can also end up causing blood poisoning, or sepsis, which may result in death.

Types of UTI’s

Bladder infections, also known as cystitis, is a UTI usually caused by a bacterium called Escherichia coli (E. coli). Other bacteria can cause a UTI, but 9 times out of 10 it’s caused by E. coli.
E. coli can be found in your intestinal tract, where it doesn’t tend to cause any problems unless it travels somewhere it shouldn’t. Because women’s urethras are closer to the anus, they are more likely to develop an infection caused by E. coli. This is why women are advised to wipe front to back after using the toilet.

Urethritis is an infection or inflammation of the urethra. It’s most typically caused by a sexually transmitted infection, or STI, with gonorrhea and chlymidia being the most frequent culprits.

Pyelonephritis is a kidney infection that occurs when an untreated UTI travels up to one or both of the kidneys. In rare cases, pyelonephritis can lead to serious complications like kidney failure or kidney disease.   
Causes of Bladder Infections

Your urinary system is usually good at keeping this bacteria out, but when it doesn’t a UTI can develop. As we mentioned before, an enlarged prostate and STI’s are common causes of UTIs in males, but they aren’t the only causes.

Other factors that can put men at an increased risk of bladder infections include:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney stones
  • Catheter use
  • Urinary tract abnormalities present from birth
  • Urethral stricture, a narrowing of the urethra
  • Procedures where instruments are inserted into the urethra, like a cystoscopy

How to Prevent Bladder Infections

Prevention is the most effective form of treatment. UTI’s aren’t necessarily a serious health condition, but they can be very uncomfortable and have the potential to cause complications.

There are several easy things you can do to reduce your risk of getting a urinary tract infection such as:

  • Drinking plenty of water as it will make you urinate more frequently which will help flush bacteria from your urinary system. Water also dilutes your urine.
  • Treating and effectively managing any prostate issues.
  • Using condoms during sex.
  • Not ignoring the urge to urinate.
  • Practicing good hygiene with catheter use.

How to Treat Bladder Infections

If you suspect you have a UTI, your GP may perform tests like a urine test, but they may not be needed for a diagnosis. If you are diagnosed, urinary tract infections are typically treated with antibiotics like Trimethoprim and Nitrofurantoin tablets, although treatment can vary depending on the cause of the infection.

If you’re prescribed antibiotics, it’s important to finish the entire course even if you start to feel better. This is because you may still have the infection after any noticeable symptoms go away. Not completing your treatment makes it more likely for the infection to come back.

You may also be advised to take painkillers to help with any symptoms or to reduce a fever.

Bladder infection treatment as well as over-the-counter painkillers can be bought at cheap prices from Pharmacy Planet. Improve your bladder health today and buy Nitrofurantoin Tablets and Trimethoprim for Cystitis online in the UK. Simply fill out a short online assessment and once our pharmacists review and approve your request, we’ll ship your medications directly to your door.