Individuals affected by bladder inflammation

Bladder inflammation in women, men and children

Anybody can suffer bladder inflammation. However, women are predominantly affected. The reason: the female urethra is shorter, allowing infectious agents to reach the bladder easily and generate inflammation. In men, the likelihood of affliction increases with increasing age and enlargement of the prostate gland.

In particular life circumstances such as during a pregnancy or menopause, as well as when living with chronic illnesses such as diabetes it can be helpful to understand certain relationships. 

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Signs of bladder infection?

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bladder infection in the woman

Why do women experience bladder inflammation more frequently than men?

More than 10% of women will suffer bladder inflammation once per year, and every second woman will get a bladder inflammation once during their lifetime. Why? The cause lies in the female anatomy. A woman’s urethra is three to four centimetres long, whilst the male’s is 20-25 cm long. This means that bacteria have a shorter route into the bladder. Furthermore, the urethral opening is closer to the anus, so that the bacteria present there can easily reach the urethra. Additional causes include hormonal changes during pregnancy or menopause, which predispose the body to bladder infections. Vaginal diaphragms and spermicides change the vaginal flora exactly as a several-week course of antibiotics would do. This can favour the ascent of bacteria.   

Pregnancy 
Pregnant women are particularly susceptible to bladder inflammation as a result of the hormonal changes. During this time, the hormone progesterone relaxes the muscles of the urinary tract outlet. This allows bacteria to enter more easily, multiply and spread to the ureter and pelvicalyceal system. The relaxation of the musculature also results in urine flowing more slowly from the kidney to the bladder, which means that bacteria are not immediately washed out, but rather have more time to multiply.  

Menopause 
During menopause, the mucosal membranes become drier and thinner. The mucosal membranes of the urethra and bladder are also affected by this. The power and defence to protect oneself from invading infectious agents is no longer sufficient. Another aspect is that the bladder often drops a little during menopause, which favours the entry of infectious agents. These relationships cause that bladder inflammation often occurs during menopause.  

Diabetes
This metabolic disease weakens microbial resistance in the mucosal membranes and bacteria can stick more easily to the mucosal cells. Statistics show that women with diabetes are affected twice as frequently as women without diabetes. If there is a suspicion of bladder inflammation, then diabetics should always consult their doctor.

  • Women more frequently get bladder inflammation than men: the cause lies in the female anatomy. The female urethra is three to four centimetres long, while the male one is 20-25 cm long.  

  • Men are rarely affected by bladder inflammation before the age of 50: most men suffer a bladder inflammation between the 60th and 70th years of life.

  • Bladder inflammation in infants and juveniles is often caused by hypothermia. Symptoms in children should always be assessed by a paediatrician. 

The following home remedies can help alleviate the symptoms of bladder inflammation: 

  • Drink: 2-3 litres of water per day

  • Do not overly delay going to the toilet
  • Heat: Hot water bottle or hipbaths 

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