What is Cystitis - Causes and Caution

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Tess Thompson

When bacteria enter through the meatus, the opening at the end of the urethra, they can travel up to the bladder and cause cystitis. The prefix “itis” means inflammation that is caused by organisms other than bacteria. Bacteria however, are the most common cause of cystitis and as such it is often referred to as bacterial cystitis also. Cystitis is also the most common form of UTI in the urinary bladder.

Cystitis is known to have a detrimental affect on the life of an individual in the shape of disturbance in sleep patterns due to frequent urge to urinate, breaking up of relationships as sexual intercourse becomes painful, and interference in work life. Cystitis is easily curable with the help of antibiotics. Any indication of UTI or cystitis necessitates prompt recourse to bladder infection treatment or urinary tract infection cure whichever may be required.

The major symptom of cystitis is pain in the supra-pubic region with or without more than normal urination. Other main symptoms are frequent urge to urinate even when bladder is empty, and strong smelling cloudy and dark urine. Other symptoms may manifest in the form of blood in the urine, painful sexual intercourse and penile pain, and mild fever and chills.

The most common cause for bacteria growing in the bladder is the remaining urine that I not removed from the bladder after urination. When the bladder is not emptied completely and regularly, the condition is aggravated. This also increases the chances of cystitis occurring frequently.

There are various reasons for bladder retaining urine even after urination.

  1. Presence of kidney or bladder stones prevents urination draining the bladder completely. Genetic and congenital abnormalities too can result in urine retention in the bladder.
  2. Normally your body has only urethral muscles, to control the flow of the urine. However, some people have valves at both the ends of the bladder, where it ends at the urethra as well as where it joins the ureters. This prevents the complete emptying of the bladder on urination.
  3. In men, an enlarged prostrate gland may prevent the bladder from emptying fully after urination.
  4. During pregnancy, the pressure of the uterus sometimes causes the bladder to retain urine instead of completely excreting it.

Bacteria can enter the body due to various reasons.

  1. In women, due to the proximity of the urethra to anus, hygiene is one of the major reasons of bacteria entering the urinary tract.
  2. The use of catheters for removal to keep a passageway open may also damage the urethra or bladder, increasing chances of occurrence of cystitis.
  3. Sexual intercourse can cause bruising of the urethra or bladder making entry of bacteria easier. Infection due to sexually transmitted diseases, especially in sexually active young men too causes cystitis like symptoms.
  4. Products that irritate, like deodorants and bubble baths too can cause symptoms that mimic those of cystitis.

Apart from these, the presence of more than required sugars in diabetic patients encourages bacteria to grow as well as prevent the bladder from functioning properly to expel urine completely. Postmenopausal changes in women increase the occurrence of cystitis because of a quantum decrease in hormones in the body after menopause. Symptoms of cystitis may also point at interstitial cystitis

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