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. What are the symptoms?
Here are some symptoms you may experience if you have a bladder infection:
How do you get it?
- A sharp burning pain during urination.
- Frequent urination or the urge to urinate a lot.
- Cloudy, dark or bloody urine.
- Pain in the back or lower stomach.
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.How do you treat bladder infections?
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.How can I avoid a UTI?
You can help to prevent UTIs by trying the following:
- Drink at least six to eight glasses of water a day.
- Don't drink a lot of caffeine (coffee or colas).
- Don't wait to go to the bathroom — pee when you get the urge.
- Take showers instead of baths.
- Wipe from front to back whenever you go to the toilet.