Bladder infections occur when there is an overgrowth of bacteria in the urine and bladder, an area that should not have these. Bladder infections in women are common, as the urethra or the tube that goes from the vulva into the bladder is short. In women that are premenopausal, often after intercourse, bacteria can easily enter the bladder and cause an infection.
In postmenopausal women, the urethra may thin out and lose its defense against bacteria making infections more common. Also, the lack of estrogen can cause atrophy in the bladder itself, making the bladder more sensitive, and thus leading to bladder pain or fullness, incomplete emptying of the bladder, and again, poor defense against bacteria.
Bladder infections must be diagnosed with a urine culture, and appropriate antibiotic treatment is prescribed. When these infections are chronic and the discomfort continues, often other treatment options can be suggested. These would include hormonal options, such as estrogen to treat the atrophy or tech solutions that are local, non-hormonal and do not include antibiotics.
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