What a bladder infection is

Many women and some men have had a bladder infection. But what actually is a bladder infection? And it is also nice to know how you can (try to) prevent a bladder infection!

The bladder

The bladder is a spherical organ located at the bottom of the abdomen. Urine is stored in the bladder and can then leave the body through the urethra. When empty, the bladder is about the size of a billiard ball. When the bladder is full it can hold approximately 400ml of urine. The bladder is located at the end of two ureters that run diagonally through the bladder wall. When the bladder becomes full, the ureters become somewhat flattened, preventing urine from flowing back to the kidneys. The bladder wall consists of a muscle layer that can compress independently. When the bladder becomes full, the spinal cord receives a signal so that we feel that we need to urinate. The fuller the bladder becomes, the stronger the signals will become and therefore also our urge. If we do not give in to the urge, at a certain point the control center in the spinal cord will take over and the bladder will automatically be completely emptied.


With a bladder infection, the wall of the bladder is inflamed. This is more common in women than in men because women’s urethra is shorter. This makes it easier for bacteria to enter the bladder. We often pee out bacteria ourselves, but in some cases inflammation still occurs.

This could be due to:

    • Drinking and urinating too little
    • Aggressive bacteria
    • Lots of bacteria
    • Reduced resistance due to flu
    • Some women suffer from a bladder infection after intercourse


A bladder infection can feel very unpleasant. The most common complaints are:

    • Frequent urination even when there is no more urine in it
    • Pain when urinating
    • Cloudy puddle
    • Pain in the lower abdomen and back
    • Burning sensation when urinating
    • Sometimes there may be some blood in the urine
    • Sometimes some increase

What to do about a bladder infection?

Do you suspect that you have a bladder infection? Then have your urine tested by your doctor. If you have a bladder infection, you will receive a course of antibiotics. You can be given paracetamol for the pain.

How can you prevent a bladder infection?

To prevent a bladder infection, it is best to follow the following advice:

    • Drink a lot
    • Don’t hold the urine unnecessarily
    • Make sure you pee everything out
    • Go to the toilet immediately after intercourse
    • Cranberry products can help prevent a bladder infection
    • Ensure good hygiene
    • If you often have a bladder infection, especially after intercourse, your doctor can give you antibiotic tablets to take after intercourse

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