Bacteria are very small, one-celled organisms, most of which are not harmful to the human body. Infectious types of bacteria can sometimes invade the body and cause a variety of medical conditions, which may need to be treated with prescription medications such as antibiotics. Some of the more common conditions caused by a bacterial infection include bacterial vaginosis, kidney infections, and gastroenteritis.
Bacterial vaginosis is a common type of bacterial infection affecting women. Various types of bacteria live naturally in the vaginal area and normally do not cause problems. If any of these varieties of bacteria begin to grow excessively, an infection may occur. Women who experience symptoms of this condition may notice a foul-smelling vaginal discharge, although it is common for a woman to experience no symptoms at all.
Pyelonephritis is a type of bacterial infection that involves the kidneys. Symptoms of this type of infection often include pain, fever, or blood in the urine. This condition should be treated right away, as untreated kidney infections can lead to permanent kidney damage. If the kidneys become too damaged to function properly, dialysis or transplant may become the only viable options to keep the patient alive.
Sinusitis is a type of bacterial infection that involves inflammation and irritation of the delicate tissues of the sinus cavity. Sinusitis symptoms may include fever, cough, and headache. As is the case with most bacterial infections, antibiotics are typically needed to effectively treat sinusitis. Warm, moist compresses may be placed across the sinus area of the face to help ease painful symptoms while the body heals from the infection.
Gastroenteritis is a medical condition that is sometimes caused by a bacterial infection and is characterized by inflammation of the digestive tract, including the stomach and intestines. Symptoms of gastroenteritis may include abdominal pain or cramping, fever, or diarrhea.
Chlamydia is a type of sexually transmitted disease that is commonly caused by a bacterial infection. Many people who have this type of infection never experience any symptoms, which means the disease can be easily spread to other people unintentionally. Those who do experience symptoms of this condition may notice abdominal pain, nausea, or fever. Women with chlamydia may also begin to bleed or spot between periods. Patients who are diagnosed with this condition should notify all sex partners so that everyone who may have been exposed can receive the proper testing.