Infections are one of the most common reasons for a trip to the doctor's office. There are many types of infections, including urinary tract infections (UTI) and bladder infections.
Bladder Infection is a form of Urinary Tract Infection. However we can’t say that all UTIs are bladder infection. Bladder Infection is the most common UTI. A UTI is an infection in one or more parts of the urinary tract, which includes the ureters, kidneys, urethra, and bladder. While each UTI type shares common symptoms, the location of the infection can cause some different symptoms as well.
Cystitis versus UTI: What Is the Difference?
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection of the bladder, urethra or kidneys that can affect both men and women. UTIs are more common in women than in men, but they can also occur in both genders.
In general, cystitis is less serious than UTIs because it doesn't spread beyond the bladder; this means that you won't develop symptoms like fever and chills if your infection doesn't enter your bloodstream through an open wound on your abdomen or pelvis. However, some people with frequent episodes of cystitis may develop more severe infections over time—and these can lead to kidney damage if left untreated for too long.
Bladder Infection vs. UTI
UTI is a more serious condition than bladder infection. UTIs are more common, and they require a longer course of treatment. If you have a urinary tract infection (UTI), your doctor will likely recommend antibiotics to kill the bacteria in your urine. In addition to this prescribed course of antibiotics, you may be given other treatments as well including:
Symptoms of Bladder Infection
The most common symptoms of a bladder infection include:
- burning during urination
- pain in the bladder that may feel like a persistent need to urinate, even immediately after using the bathroom
- only getting out a few drops when trying to urinate
- leaking urine
- cloudy or foul-smelling urine
- pelvic or stomach pain
Causes of a Lower Urinary Tract Infection
A lower urinary tract infection is caused by bacteria entering your urethra, vagina, or anus. Bacteria can also enter through an injury to the urinary tract if you are wearing tight-fitting underwear that does not cover all of your skin.
Bacteria can enter the urinary tract from any part of your body including:
- Eyes (keratoconjunctivitis sicca)
Causes of a Bladder Infection
In the case of bladder infection, the bacteria that cause it can come from sources outside your body. For example, they're commonly transmitted through sexual activity and in some cases by using a dirty toilet.
Other causes include:
- Diabetes (Type 1 or Type 2)
- Kidney stones
When to See a Doctor
If you have any of the following symptoms, it's time to see a doctor:
- You have other health conditions. In addition to being an adult, it's important to be aware that bladder and urinary tract infections can occur in people who are pregnant, diabetic or over 65 years old.
- Your symptoms do not improve within 48 hours of starting treatment on their own (such as taking antibiotics). If this happens, see your primary care provider right away so they can prescribe another course of antibiotics if needed.
- You are pregnant. Urinary tract infections during pregnancy may lead to premature birth or stillbirth in rare cases; therefore, it's especially important for pregnant women with urinary tract infections receive prompt medical attention from their doctors as soon as possible so that they can be treated effectively before labor begins!
Differences in Symptoms
- Urinary tract infections are more severe than bladder infections.
- Urinary tract infections often cause fever, chills, and fatigue.
- Bladder infections may also cause fever and chills but not as much fatigue as UTIs do.
Similarities in Symptoms
If you're having a UTI, you may have the urge to urinate often and feel pain or burning when you go. You may also experience frequent urination.
For both urinary tract infections and bladder infections, women are more likely to experience these symptoms than men are. In addition, some people with a bladder infection will have no symptoms at all while others may feel some discomfort during urination but not enough that they need medical treatment.
A bladder infection is an inflammation of your urethra (the tube between your bladder and penis), which can cause pain during urination. It's most common in men over 50 years old, but women can also get them. Bladder infections are often treated with antibiotics—but if you're having signs of a UTI (such as blood in urine), call your doctor right away! If left untreated, these infections can lead to other health problems like kidney stones or even kidney failure if left untreated for too long.
Risk Factors of UTI and Bladder Infection
- being pregnant
- having diabetes, as a person experiences changes to their immune system that make them more prone to UTIs
- having an enlarged prostate
- having low levels of estrogen, such as when a woman is post-menopausal
- having a history of kidney stones, which can block the flow of urine through the urinary tract
Some of those who have experienced Bladder Infections and Other UTIs find that some of the home remedies can be as effective antibiotics, at least for those not severe ones. Here are some of the home remedies tried and tested:
- Cranberry Juice
- Abstinence from Sex
If you have symptoms of a bladder infection, see your doctor immediately. A UTI can be very serious if left untreated and can lead to kidney damage or even death. If you have symptoms of a urinary tract infection, make sure to take them seriously, but don’t panic if they aren’t severe enough for you to see a doctor right away. You may need some home remedies before seeing a medical professional so that they don’t worsen the problem further.