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How to Treat a Bladder Infection

By Contributor ; Updated July 27, 2017

How to Treat a Bladder Infection. Bladder infections, sometimes knows as cystitis or UTIs (urinary tract infections), can cause painful urination and an urgent need to urinate. Bladder infections become serious once they spread to the kidneys, so early treatment is important.

Call your doctor and describe your symptoms. Depending on how acute your infection is, your doctor may want to see you or prescribe a short round of antibiotics.

Drink about a quart of pure cranberry juice per day (avoid juice drinks that are mostly sugar and water) or take cranberry capsules.

Drink plenty of other fluids. Try to drink at least one 8-ounce glass of water every hour.

Take Vitamin C every day (as directed) to acidify your urine. This helps to destroy bacteria. Take acidophilus to help regain normal bacterial flora in your body.

Avoid sexual intercourse while you have a bladder infection - it can exacerbate symptoms.

Limit intake of alcohol, caffeine and carbonated drinks, which can prolong symptoms.


Over-the-counter pain relievers are available specifically for urinary tract infections. Make sure to complete the full course of antibiotics if your doctor prescribes them. Taking acidophilus is especially important if you're taking antibiotics. Eating parsley, watermelon and celery can help cleanse your system. To relieve pain and irritation, wear cotton underwear, avoid nylons, and try taking a soothing hot sitz bath.


If you also experience nausea, fever, chills, or back pain, call your doctor right away. You may have a kidney infection, which requires medical attention. Bladder infections are fairly common for women. When they occur in men, though, doctors recommend a more thorough medical evaluation. If symptoms persist or if you have specific medical conditions or concerns, we recommend you contact a physician. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.

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