Frequency, urgency, and pain on urination are symptoms of inflammation or irritation. These symptoms can be caused by a UTI (bacterial infection) or substances in the urine causing irritation to the lining of the bladder or urethra. UTIs can be treated by antibiotics. But irritation of the bladder or urethra can result from other causes that will probably not respond to antibiotics.
The basic treatment for irritable bladder symptoms, whether induced by bacterial or nonbacterial irritants, is hydration. At the first sign of discomfort, start hydrating by drinking 16 oz of water mixed with 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Then drink 8 oz of plain water every 20 minutes for the next 2 – 3 hours.
Repeat drinking 16 oz of water with baking soda after 3 to 4 hours. (Baking soda contains sodium and can cause fluid retention. If you have a history of high blood pressure, do not drink this mixture more than twice in 24 hours.)
To lessen discomfort, you can take acetaminophen to relieve the pain (two extra-strength or three regular strength tablets), bladder analgesics such as phenazopyridine (Pyridium) may help, and warm baths to help muscles of the pelvis relax.
If the conservative measures mentioned above are not helping, call your physician’s office to schedule an appointment to determine if a UTI (bacterial infection) is the cause of your symptoms.