It is an infection of the lower part of the urinary tract, particularly the bladder, which is caused by a bacteria.
The presence of symptoms differentiates cystitis from asymptomatic bacteriuria.
The latter involves only the presence of bacteria in urine analysis, but without any discomfort of any kind, and therefore does not require treatment except in specific cases.
The incidence of cystitis is higher in females, because women have the shortest urethra and are closer to the anus, allowing bacteria to reach the vagina opening quickly, and up to The urethra and the bladder.
On the contrary, man has the most extended urethra, and also the secreted prostate a substance with a bactericidal effect, which prevents the inevitable rise of microorganisms.
Some experts estimated that between 10 and 20% of women would suffer at least one episode of cystitis throughout their life, which will be recurrent in 20% of cases.
The age of highest incidence in women is between 20 and 40 years. In man, cystitis is more frequent during the first years of life, associated with the possible existence of anomalies in the urinary tract, and from the age of 50 due to the increase, from this period, on the development of prostatic pathologies.
Bacterial cystitis, also known as the Urinary Tract Infection, is an infection that causes inflammation in the walls of the bladder.
Escherichia coli is the bacteria and cause of this condition, and it may enter the bladder via the urethra. Women are more susceptible to UTI, especially those with active sexual life.
However, sexually inactive women can also have this disease because the female genitalia often contains many bacteria.
Moreover, this bacteria can also enter the urethra through the urinal catheters used by the hospitals for old people.
If the catheters do not get adequately sterilized before insertion, then the risk of getting this disease is increased.
Aside from bacterial infections, there can be other reasons that may cause cystitis in patients. Using drugs like cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide can lead to this condition.
Similarly, undergoing radiotherapy of the pelvic region and using chemicals that are not suitable for a particular individual can also increase the chances of getting cystitis.
However, through the course of this article, we will be focusing on Bacterial Cystitis.
Cystitis occurs when the lower urinary tract (urethra and bladder) becomes infected with bacteria and becomes irritated and inflamed.
Escherichia coli causes more than 85% of cases of cystitis, a bacterium found in the lower gastrointestinal tract.
Sexual intercourse may increase the risk of cystitis because bacteria can move from the urethra to the bladder during sexual activity.
When the person urinates, it helps to remove the bacteria from the bladder, but if these bacteria multiply faster than it takes to eliminate them using urination, the infection is present.
This condition is prevalent and frequently affects sexually active women between the ages of 20 and 50 years, but can also occur in those who are not sexually active.
Cystitis is uncommon in males. Women are much more likely to develop cystitis due to their relatively shorter urethra, so bacteria do not have to travel as much to enter the bladder.
The distance between the opening of the urethra and the anus is also shorter in women than in men.
Older adults are also at high risk of developing cystitis, with a much higher incidence in the elderly than in younger people.
This is due in part to conditions that cause incomplete bladder emptyings, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), prostatitis, and urethral strictures.
Likewise, lack of adequate fluids, intestinal incontinence, immobility, or decreased urination increase the risk of cystitis.
Other risk factors for cystitis include obstruction of the bladder or urethra, insertion of instruments into the urinary tract (such as catheterization or cystoscopy), pregnancy, diabetes, HIV, and history of analgesic nephropathy or reflux nephropathy.
Many symptoms should indicate that is time for someone to consult a doctor.
Patients complain of symptoms like burning sensation while passing out urine, hematuria, constant urge to urinate, fever and intense pains in the pelvic region.
- A pressure in the lower part of the pelvis.
- Painful urination (dysuria).
- Frequent or urgent need to urinate.
- Need to pee at night (nocturia).
- Abnormal color of urine (cloudy).
- Blood in the urine (hematuria).
- Strong or foul-smelling urine.
The symptoms related to this disease are:
- Painful sexual intercourse.
- Penile pain (uncommon).
- Shaking chills.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Mental changes or confusion (this happens more often in the elderly).
Some patients have also stated that they suffered from nausea, vomiting and abdomen pains as a result of cystitis.
Although children are less likely to contract this disease, it is your duty as a parent to remain vigilant.
If the child wets himself in the day hours, you should ask your pediatrician and have your child diagnosed.
If the signs and symptoms recur or persist even after you have completed your antibiotics course, then immediately contact your doctor and have him prescribe a different strain of antibiotics with a broader range.
Signs and tests
A urinalysis usually reveals white blood cells or red blood cells.
Clean urine culture or a catheterized urine specimen may be performed to find out what type of bacteria is causing the infection and to determine the appropriate antibiotic for treatment.
Most cases of cystitis are uncomfortable but disappear without complications after treatment.
- Chronic or recurrent urinary tract infection.
- Complicated urinary tract infection (pyelonephritis).
- Renal failure.
When to contact a doctor?
Call your health care provider if symptoms of cystitis occur or if this condition has already been diagnosed and symptoms worsen.
People should also consult their doctors if new symptoms develop, in particular, fever, back pain, stomach pain or vomiting.
As we are concentrating on Bacterial Cystitis in this article, therefore, the first action for those suffering from this infection would be to start the use of antibiotics immediately.
For the people who already got diagnosed with this disease for the first time in their lives, medicines are the best route.
Medications should be taken up to the amount of time prescribed regardless of the disappearance of the symptoms.
Doctors usually prescribe three days to one week depending on drug depending on the severity of the disease.
For those that complain about the recurrence of UTI, they should consult a urologist while extending the period of antibiotic use.
Sometimes, anomalies in the urethra and the bladder can also be the cause of infection. Women who are past the menopause stage run the highest risk of acquiring UTI.
Vaginal estrogen cream is sometimes prescribed by the doctors to help alleviate some of the symptoms. People who acquire cystitis at the hospitals need to be very careful.
The strain of bacteria found in the unsterilized hospital utensils are often quite resilient. Health care providers might need to use broad range antibiotics in addition to adopting other approaches in order to cure the patient.
Keeping the genital area clean and cleaning from front to back may reduce the chances of introducing bacteria from the rectal area into the urethra.
Increased fluid intake can allow frequent urination to eliminate bacteria from the bladder.
Immediate urination after intercourse can help to eliminate any bacteria that may have entered the body during sex, but if the person does not urinate for an extended period, bacteria have time to multiply.
Frequent urination may reduce the risk of cystitis in people prone to urinary tract infections.
Consumption of cranberry juice prevents certain types of bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall and can reduce the risk of disease.