When treated promptly and properly, bladder infections rarely lead to complications. But left untreated, they can become something more serious. Complications may include:
Apr. 25, 2012
- Kidney infection. An untreated bladder infection can lead to kidney infection, also called pyelonephritis (pie-uh-low-nuh-FRY-tis). Kidney infections may permanently damage your kidneys. Young children and older adults are at the greatest risk of kidney damage from bladder infections because their symptoms are often overlooked or mistaken for other conditions.
- Blood in the urine. With cystitis, you may have blood cells in your urine that can be seen only with a microscope (microscopic hematuria) and that usually resolves with treatment. If blood cells remain after treatment, your doctor may recommend a specialist to determine the cause. Blood in the urine that you can see (gross hematuria) is rare with typical, bacterial cystitis, but this sign is not uncommon with chemotherapy- or radiation-induced cystitis.
- Katz VL, et al. Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-06986-1..C2009-0-48752-X--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-06986-1&uniqId=325227117-5. Accessed March 22, 2012.
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- Hooton TM. Acute uncomplicated cystitis and pyelonephritis in women. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed March 22, 2012.
- Interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome. National Kidney & Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/interstitialcystitis/. Accessed March 22, 2012.
- French L, et al. Urinary problems in women. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice. 2009;36:53.
- Hooton TM. Recurrent urinary tract infections in women. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed March 22, 2012.
- Ksycki MF, et al. Nosocomial urinary tract infection. Surgical Clinics of North America. 2009;89:475.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2012: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05611-3..C2009-0-38601-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05611-3&uniqId=291436269-101. Accessed March 26, 2012.
- Brenner BM. Brenner & Rector's The Kidney. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6193-9..C2010-1-67932-1--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-6193-9&uniqId=321553651-265. Accessed March 26, 2012.
- Tanagho EA, et al. Smith's General Urology. 17th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=3130813. Accessed March 27, 2012.
- Gupta K, et al. International clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of acute uncomplicated cystitis and pyelonephritis in women: A 2010 update by the Infectious Disease Society of America and the European Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2011;52:e103.
- Cranberry. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed March 27, 2012.
- Castle EP (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Phoenix, Ariz. April 11, 2012.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed April 4, 2012.