The urinary bladder is a remarkable organ.
It expands like a balloon to hold your pee, is lined by cells that prevent urine from leaking out, and is capable of preventing bacteria from colonizing it.
But did you know that holding on to your pee can actually increase your risk of bladder infection? Or that women are more prone to it than men?
So, here's everything you need to know about bladder infection, it's symptoms, and ways you can prevent it.
Bladder Infection: What The Hell Is It Anyway?
Bladder infection is a type of UTI where your urinary bladder is colonized by pathogenic bacteria. But if you have a weak immune system, even simple microbes like yeast can cause it.
It is most commonly caused by E. coli, the bacteria abundantly found in your feces, and occurs when these bacteria somehow find their way into your urethra (the place from where you pee), after which they travel up your urinary tract to reach your bladder.
It is more common in women because women have a shorter distance between their anus and their urethra. But the risk of developing it increases in men as they age, since their prostate gland tends to enlarge over the years, which can press down upon their urine channel and obstruct the flow when they try to pee.
Symptoms of Bladder Infection
The following are some of the commonest symptoms of a bladder infection.
- Painful urination
- Cloudy urine
- Blood in the urine
- Bad odor in your urine
- Desire to urinate frequently
- Fever and chills
- Lower abdominal pain that has no origin
How To Prevent A Bladder Infection
As you must have figured out from the symptoms mentioned above, having a bladder infection can really put a damper on things. So, here are some ways through which you can prevent a bladder infection.
#1 Drink At Least 8 Glasses of Water
Drinking water frequently might make you pee more frequently, but this is good for your body, as it keeps flushing out any bacterial build-up in your bladder.
Plus, drinking more water helps dilute your urine. This is important because your urine contains a lot of waste matter and toxins, which when undiluted causes painful, burning urination.
Note: Drinking 8 glasses of water every day is a good place to start if you do not drink enough. But the average for men and women is 3.7 and 2.7 L, respectively.
#2 Pee Often
The more you pee, the lesser risk you have of ending up with a bladder infection. In fact, you should definitely pee once every 4 hours. Holding on to your urine for longer can definitely lead to UTI.
#3 Pee Before And After Sex
Sex increases the risk of developing bladder infection in both women and men. So, make sure you pee before and after you have sex to keep your bladder empty and your tracts clean.
#4 Don’t Wear Tight Pants
When you wear tight pants, it traps moisture and warmth in your underwear, which allows bacteria to grow and thrive near your urethra. That's why breezy clothes are more appropriate for maintaining your personal hygiene and health.
#5 Wear Cotton Underwear
They might not look as sexy as your synthetic and skin-hugging undies, but cotton underwear is great for wicking moisture, allowing air to circulate in the nether regions, and preventing odour-producing bacteria from building up in the area.
Haven't you wondered why synthetic underwear always leaves your private parts smelling like old socks?
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