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What is Cystitis?

Cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder. This inflammation is mainly caused by a bacterial infection that is also called a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). A bladder infection can be a serious problem to your health, and the infection may spread to your kidneys. A bladder infection can be painful and may irritate your entire system.

Cystitis or an inflammation of the Urinary Tract can also occur when you take certain drugs or use certain creams or lotions, such as feminine hygiene spray, spermicidal jellies or even long-term use of a catheter.

 


Symptoms of Cystitis

 

These are the signs and symptoms of Cystitis

  • A burning feeling felt during urination
  • A constant urge to urinate
  • Passing frequent amounts of urination
  • When you have blood in your urine
  • Pressure in the lower abdomen
  • A low-grade fever

Signs of urinary tract infections can also be visible when children mistakenly urinate during the day, or wet their bed at night.



Causes of Cystitis


The urinary system consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder and the urethra, these play a role in extracting waste from our body. Our kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs, located at the back of the upper abdomen.  Your upper abdomen filters waste from your blood and controls the concentration of waste in your cells and organs. Ureters, which are likened to tubes, carry urine from your kidneys to the bladder, where it is kept until your system is ready to excrete it through the urethra.



Bacterial Cystitis


Urine tract infections usually happen when bacteria from outside the body enters the urinary tract through the urethra and starts to multiple. It is commonly caused by Escherichia coli (E-Coli) bacteria.

Women usually contract bacterial bladder infections as a result of sexual intercourse. But even women and girls who are not sexually active can get bladder infections.  This is because the female genital area, harbors bacteria that can cause cystitis.


Noninfectious Cystitis:


There are a number of non-infectious factors that may also cause the bladder to become inflamed
Some of these include:

  • Drug-induced Cystitis: Certain medications such as chemotherapy drugs Cyclophosphamide and Ifosfamide can cause inflammation of your bladder.
  • Interstitial Cystitis: This is a chronic infection and is called “painful bladder infection”. It is unclear what the cause of chronic infection is.
  • Radiation Cystitis: Radiation treatment of the pelvic area could cause inflammatory changes in the bladder tissue.


Risk factors


Women are at a greater risk of developing urinary tract infections. The reason for this is physical anatomy, women have a shorter urethra, and this cuts down on the distance bacteria needs to travel upwards to reach the bladder.

  • Women who are sexually active: Sexual intercourse could result in bacteria being pushed up into the urethra.
  • Women who are pregnant: Hormonal changes may increase the risk of a bladder infection.
  • Birth control: Birth control that contains spermicidal agents further increasing the risk of UTI.


Diagnosis of Cystitis

  • Urine Analysis: Your doctor may ask you for a urine sample to check whether bacteria, blood or pus is in your urine.
  • Cystoscopy: Your doctor will insert a Cystoscope, with a light, a camera and a thin tube into your urinary tract. The camera is inserted into your bladder to view your urinary tract for signs of diseases.


Treatment for Cystitis


Antibiotics are usually to given to treat cystitis caused by bacteria

  • First-time infection: Symptoms are usually treated in a day or two with the use of antibiotics. But these antibiotics need to be used for 3 -7 days depending on the severity of your infection.
  • Repeated infection: If a person has recurrent UTIs, the doctor will recommend a longer course of antibiotics be taken or will refer you to a specialist who deals with urinary tract disorders.
  • Hospital-acquired infection: This infection can be difficult to treat; bacteria found in hospitals are often resistant to the common types of antibiotics that are used to treat community-acquired bladder infections.


Tips

  • One should stay hydrated and drink lots of water
  • Use a heating pad
  • Avoid spicy foods
  • Stay away from cold drinks
 

 

 

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