Urinary tract infections (UTIs), also called bladder infections, are a common problem for a lot of girls. Anyone can get these infections, but girls and women get them more often.
Here are some symptoms you may experience if you have a bladder infection:
You get a bladder infection when harmful bacteria get in your urethra (where your wee leaves your bladder). You can get an infection in many ways, but there are two common culprits: the rectum and the vagina. If a girl wipes the wrong way after going to the toilet (the right way is from front to back), bacteria can move toward the urethra from the rectum and cause a UTI. Bacteria from the vagina can also be pushed into the urethra.
A doctor can find out if you have a UTI by doing a urine test. Most bladder infections can be cured in a few days by antibiotic treatment, and a doctor can also prescribe medications for painful symptoms.
When a bladder infection has just started, and if it isn't too bad, many teens/women treat it themselves by drinking a few glasses of cranberry juice and lots of water every day for a few days. This can "flush" the infection out of the bladder.
You can help to prevent UTIs by trying the following: