Bacterial growth in the bladder or kidneys causes urinary infections. The most common type of urinary infection is a bladder infection. Your discharge diagnosis may have been cystitis or urinary tract infection. Urinary tract infections are also abbreviated as UTI. Bladder infections often need antibiotics to treat. Sometimes the infection can spread to the kidneys. Kidney infections are a more serious type of UTI and are often called pyelonephritis. The main symptoms of bladder infections occur when urinating. These include burning with urination, increased frequency and the feeling like you need to pee, but then can't. Other symptoms include fever and lower abdominal pain. Usually urinary infections are accompanied by urine that smells foul. In older patients, it is very common for a bladder infection to cause confusion or falls. Sometimes the typical urinary symptoms aren't even present and confusion or behavior change is the first symptom to suggest UTI. Urinary infections that spread into the kidneys can cause vomiting and low back pain. If you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor. For the urinary pain, phenazopyridine and ibuprofen are often helpful, but treating the underlying infection with an antibiotic is the best way to treat your symptoms. Depending on your gender, allergies, and other medications, you may have been given an antibiotic for three, five or 14 days. Also drink lots of water and stay hydrated. Cranberry juice has been shown to reduce urinary infections, but cannot cure an infection once you get one.
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