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Cystitis

An inflammation of the bladder caused mainly by urinary tract infection

Cystitis (膀胱炎) is an inflammation of the bladder caused mainly by urinary tract infection (UTI) It is much more common in Women than Men. Cystitis may occur when bacteria enter the bladder or urethra and start to multiply. However, there are a few cases of cystitis that are not caused by infection, for example, interstitial cystitis.  

Usually a urine infection is a simple infection that can be treated easily with antibiotics, and for some people it can be a one off. If you are getting regular symptoms or infections, or you are still getting symptoms after antibiotic treatment you should see your doctor for a more in depth assessment. 

 

Causes of cystitis    

Infectious cystitis is the most common cause of cystitis, mainly caused by urinary tract infections by bacteria such as E. coli.  Risk factors for bacterial cystitis:  

  • Women are more susceptible to infection 

Because the distance between the anus and urethra is closer in women than in men, cystitis is more likely to occur. 

People with diabetes have higher sugar content in their urine, which is more likely to cause bacterial growth and infection.  

  • Immunocompromised 

People with low immunity are more likely to develop urinary tract infections than normal people 

  • Urinary tract injury 

If urethral stones occur or the skin of a urinary catheter is damaged, there is a chance of causing infection. 

  • Non-infectious cystitis  

means that this type of cystitis is not related to infection and includes: 

  • Interstitial cystitis 

One of the causes of chronic bladder inflammation, the cause is unknown and needs further research. The patients are mostly female, making diagnosis and treatment difficult. There is some suggestion that this may be linked to pelvic floor dysfunction. Our specialist pelvic health physiotherapists will be able to examine you and use ultrasound to decide if this could be contributing to your symptoms.  

Pelvic floor problems can also cause you to be more susceptible to bacterial urine infections too if you can’t fully empty your bladder. 

  • Chemical cystitis 

Allergy to certain chemicals, such as those in female deodorant sprays, bubble baths, and spermicides, causing cystitis 

  • Radiation cystitis 

If radiation therapy is given within the pelvis, it can sometimes cause damage to the bladder, causing tissue inflammation. 

  • Drug-induced cystitis 

Chemotherapy drugs, especially cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide, may cause bladder inflammation when they are excreted through the urinary tract. 

  • Complicated by other diseases 

If men have prostatic hypertrophy, in severe cases, it may cause the inability to urinate, leading to cystitis. Damage to the nervous system may also cause cystitis, such as in patients with spinal injuries or neuropathy caused by diabetes. 

 

Symptoms of cystitis  

  • Frequent urination 
  • Still wanting to urinate after emptying your bladder 
  • Urine that is cloudy or has a strong smell 
  • Low fever 
  • Blood in urine 
  • Pain during intercourse 
  • The feeling of fullness in the bladder 
  • Abdominal or back cramps 

If a bladder infection spreads to the kidneys, it can become a serious health problem. Symptoms of a kidney infection may also include: 

  • Nausea 
  • Back 
  • Back or side pain 
  • Chills 
  • Vomit 

 

How to diagnose cystitis  

Usually the typical symptoms will lead your doctor to the diagnosis. You may have a dipstick test done of your urine in the clinic to see if there is any blood or signs of bacteria in the urine. Sometimes it is necessary to send a urine sample off to the lab to be looked at under a microscope and to see which bacteria grow and which antibiotics are best to treat them. 

 

How to prevent cystitis   

  • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water every day 
  • Wipe toilet paper from front to back 
  • Don't hold in your urine 
  • Don't wear tight pants 
  • Some people find spermicides cause irritation and can lead to symptoms  
  • Urinate after sexual intercourse if you have problems with regular UTIs 
  • There is a small amount of evidence that cranberry juice can help stop the bacteria sticking to the urethra. If you try it and it works for you, it is unlikely to be harmful!  

 

OT&P Medical Advice 

Cystitis is inflammation of the bladder, most commonly caused by a urinary tract infection (UTI), which affects more women and occurs when bacteria enter the bladder or urethra and begin to multiply. However, there are a few cases of cystitis that are not caused by infection, such as interstitial cystitis. Generally, cystitis can be treated with antibiotics. If you have any questions about cystitis, you can make an appointment with a doctor for consultation. 

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Information provided by:

Dr Emma Warner headshot

Dr Emma Warner

OT&P Healthcare

Please note that all medical articles featured on our website have been reviewed by qualified healthcare doctors. The articles are for general information only and are not medical opinions nor should the contents be used to replace the need for a personal consultation with a qualified medical professional on the reader's medical condition.