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How Do I Know If I Have a Bladder Infection?

By your 10th trip to the bathroom in 2 hours, you might wonder if you have a bladder infection. And you may be right, especially if it hurts, burns, or stings when you pee.

Bladder infections are the most common type of urinary tract infection (UTI). They are caused by bacteria and lead to problems like pain in your lower belly and having to pee way more often than usual.

Your doctor can do some simple tests to find out if you have one, and they are usually easy to treat. If you get bladder infections often, your doctor may want to do more advanced tests to find the cause.

Basic Tests

Your doctor will first do a physical exam and talk to you about your symptoms. That may be enough to find out whether you have one.

If not, you wll get a urine analysis. This is a test that checks for bacteria, blood, or pus in a sample of your pee. Your doctor may also run a urine culture to find out which bacteria are causing your infection.

Advanced Tests

Getting a bladder infection once in a while may be a bother, but it is not usually a serious health concern. Sometimes, though, it is important to know the cause of the infection, because medicine alone may not be enough to treat it.

You may get more advanced tests if you belong to one of these groups:

To find the cause of a bladder infection, your doctor can use:


A mild bladder infection may go away on its own within a few days. If it does not, it is usually treated with antibiotics. You usually start to feel better in a day or so, but be sure to take all the medicine as directed.

Women with a basic infection usually take antibiotics for 3 to 7 days, though some doctors may give you an antibiotic you can take just once. For stronger infections, or if you get them often, you may take antibiotics for 7 to 10 days. And, if you have another health condition, such as diabetes, you may get a stronger antibiotic to take over a longer time.

For women past menopause, your doctor may also suggest a vaginal cream with estrogen, if it is safe for you.

For men who have a bladder infection caused by a prostate infection, you may be on antibiotics for several weeks.