Cystitis – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Cystitis is called bladder inflammation. The main source of this inflammation is a bacterial infection, and this is termed a urinary tract infection (UTI).

An infection of the bladder can be very painful and irritant, and it may become a serious health problem if the infection touches your kidneys.

Other reasons for the development of cystitis include:

Reaction to certain medications, radiotherapy or irritants, such as female hygienic spray, spermicide creams or prolonged use of a catheter. Cystitis can also be a complication in other diseases.

Bacteria cystitis is generally treated with antibiotics. Other types of cystitis are treated according to the root cause.

Sign and symptoms of cystitis

  • The constant strong urge to urinate.
  • Burning feeling while urinating.
  • frequent urination with low quantities of urine.
  • Blood in the urination. (hematuria)
  • Passing cloudy or strong-smelling urine
  • Uncomfortable in pelvic areas.
  • Pressure in the lower abdominal region.
  • Low-grade fever

In young children, new episodes of random day wetting may also indicate urinary tract infection (UTI). Peeing in the bed at night does not have to be connected to a UTI.

When to see a doctor

Consult a physician immediately if you experience signs or symptoms similar to a kidney infection, including:

  • side pain or back pain
  • Fever and chills
  • Nausea and vomiting

If you experience urgent, frequent or painful urination that lasts several hours or more or if you notice blood in your urine (hematuria), see your doctor. If you have been diagnosed with an UTI in the past and experience symptoms similar to those of the former UTI, consult your doctor.

You also need your doctor’s help if symptoms of cystitis recur after you have completed antibiotic treatment or You could use another type of medication.

If your child begins to experience wetting problems during the day, speak to his or her pediatrician.

Cystitis is uncommon in healthy men and needs to be the subject of a medical investigation.


Your urinary system is comprised of your kidneys, ureters, bladder and ureter. They all play a part in the excretion of your body’s waste. Your kidneys are bean-like twin organs located retroperitoneally filter waste from your blood and regulate the ionic balance of water in your body. Paired tubing called ureters carries urine from your kidneys to the bladder, where it is stored until it withdraws from your body by the urethra.(2)

Bacterial cystitis

Urinary tract infections are usually caused when bacteria outside the body enter the urinary tract through the urethra and begin to develop. Escherichia coli (E. coli) is the bacterium most commonly associated with cystitis.

Bacterial infections of the bladder can occur in females as a result of sexual intercourse. But also sexually inactive girls and women are likely to obtain lower urinary tract infections because the female genital area often have UTI causing bacteria.

Additionally, females have a shorter urethra than males, making it easier for bacteria to enter the bladder and causing cystitis or urinary tract infections in females.

While bacterial infections are the most common cause of cystitis, there are a number of non-infectious factors that can also cause bladder inflammation or cystitis.

Here are a few of these factors:

  • Interstitial cystitis. This is a chronic form of bladder inflammation, also referred to as painful bladder syndrome and the cause is unclear. The majority of cases occur in females. It cannot be easily diagnosed or cured.
  • Drug-induced cystitis. Certain drugs, including chemotherapeutic drugs such as cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide, can cause inflammation of the bladder when the decomposed components of the drugs leave the body.
  • Radiation cystitis. Radiotherapy of the pelvic region can lead to inflammation in the bladder tissue.
  • Foreign-body cystitis. The use of a longer-lasting catheter may make you vulnerable to bacterial infections and tissue damage, both of which lead to inflammation.
  • Chemical cystitis. Some people can be more sensitive to the chemicals in some products, such as bubble bath, feminine hygiene sprays or spermicidal creams, and can develop an allergic-like reaction within the bladder, resulting in inflammation.
  • Cystitis associated with other conditions. Cystitis can sometimes occur in the form of complications of other disorders, such as diabetes or kidney stones.

Risk factors

Some people are more likely than others to contract bladder infections or repeated urinary tract infections, like women. The cause behind this is physical anatomy. In females, the urethra is shorter, which reduces the distance between bacteria and the bladder.

Women with the greatest risk of UTI are those who:

  • Are sexually active. As a result of sex, bacteria may enter the urethra.
  • Use certain types of birth control. Women who use diaphragms are more likely to develop a urinary tract infection. Diaphragms which contain spermicid agents also increase your risk.
  • Are pregnant. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can lead to an increased risk of bladder infection.
  • Have experienced menopause. Changes in hormone levels in postmenopausal women are generally related to UTIs.

Other commonly occurring risk factors for men and women include:

  • Interference with the flow of urine. This may occur under conditions such as a stone in the bladder or, in men, an enlargement of the prostate or any other obstruction.
  • Changes in the immune system. This may happen because of some conditions, such as diabetes, HIV infection and cancer treatment. Reduced immunity can increase the risk of bacterial and sometimes viral infections of the bladder.
  • Prolonged use of bladder catheters. These tubes may be needed in people suffering from chronic diseases or in older people. Long-term use may lead to increased risk for bacterial infections and damage to bladder tissue.

For men who have no sensitive health issues, cystitis is rare.


Once treated immediately and correctly, bladder infections rarely result in complications. But without timely treatment, they can result in serious complications such as:

  • Kidney infection. An untreated bladder infection may lead to a renal infection, also called pyelonephritis. Kidney infections have the potential to permanently damage your kidneys. Young children and older adults are most at risk for kidney damage caused by bladder infections, as their symptoms are often ignored or poorly understood under other conditions.
  • Blood in the urine. With cystitis, you can excrete blood cells with your urine which can only be seen with a microscope (microscopic hematuria) and which usually goes away with treatment. If blood cells stay in the urine after treatment, your doctor may recommend an expert to determine the cause. Blood in urine which you can see (coarse hematuria) is rare and only seen in typical, bacterial cystitis, but This sign is more commonly associated with cystitis induced by chemotherapy or radiation.


Cranberry juice or tablets containing proanthocyanidine are frequently prescribed to help reduce the risk of recurrent urinary tract infections in some women. However, there is no clear research in this area. A few smaller studies showed a bit of an advantage, but larger studies found no significant advantage.

As a medicine at home, do not take cranberry juice if you are taking blood thinning medicine such as warfarin (Coumadin). Potential interactions of cranberry juice and warfarin may result in bleeding.

While these preventative self-care measures are not clearly studied, physicians sometimes suggest these habits for repeated urinary tract infections:

  • Drink lots of liquids, particularly water. Drinking plenty of fluids is mostly important if you get chemotherapy or radiotherapy, particularly on treatment days.
  • Urinate frequently. If you feel like urinating, do so quickly.
  • Wipe from front to back after defecation. This avoids the spread of bacteria from the anal region into the vagina and urethra.
  • Take showers rather than tub baths. If you are sensitive to infections, taking a shower instead of a bathtub may help control them.
  • Gently wash the skin around the vagina and anus. Do this regularly, but do not use harsh soaps or wash yourself too vigorously. The delicate skin that surrounds them can be irritated.
  • Empty your bladder immediately after intercourse. Drink plenty of water to help keep the bacteria away.
  • Don’t use deodorant sprays or feminine products in the genital area. These products may irritate your urethra and bladder.


If you experience symptoms of cystitis, seek immediate medical attention. Physician will discuss your signs and symptoms and medical history, so your physician may suggest some tests, such as:

  • Urine analysis. For a suspected bladder infection, your doctor may require a urine sample to determine if bacteria, blood or pus are present in your urine. If this is the case, it may suggest urinary culture of bacteria.
  • Cystoscopy. During this test, your doctor inserts a cystoscope (a thin tube with a flashlight and a camera) in your bladder by the urethra to watch your urinary tract for signs of illness. Your doctor may also use a cystoscope to collect a small tissue sample (biopsy) for laboratory analysis. But this test may not be necessary if this is your first time getting signs and symptoms of cystitis.
  • Imaging. An imaging test is not usually required, but in some cases, especially when there is no sign of infection, imaging can be useful. For example, an X-ray or ultrasound scan can help your doctor discover other likely causes of bladder inflammation, such as a tumour or any structural abnormalities.


Cystitis as a result of bacterial infection is usually treated with antibiotics. The treatment of non-infectious cystitis varies according to the primary cause.

Treating bacterial cystitis

Antibiotics are the primary line of treatment for bacteria-induced cystitis. The type of medication and how long it will last depends on your overall health and the bacteria in your urine.

  • First-time infection. Symptoms generally improve significantly during a day or two of antibiotic treatment. Though, you will probably need to take antibiotics for three days to a week, depending on how severe your infection is. No matter how long you are on treatment, take all antibiotics recommended by your doctor to make sure the infection is completely healed.
  • Repeat infection. If you often have repeated UTI, your doctor may prescribe longer antibiotic therapy or refer you to a specialist or urinary problems (urologist or nephrologist) for an assessment, to see if urological anomalies may lead to infections. For some females, having a single dose of an antibiotic after sex can be helpful.
  • Hospital-acquired infection. Nosocomial bladder infections can be difficult to treat because bacteria present in hospitals are generally highly resistant to common types of antibiotics used to treat community vesical infections. For this reason, various types of antibiotics and treatment plans may be necessary.

Post-menopausal females may be particularly susceptible to cystitis. During your treatment, your doctor may prescribe a vaginal estrogen cream, if you are able to take this medicine without increasing your risk of further health problems.

Treating interstitial cystitis

With interstitial cystitis, the source of inflammation is uncertain, so there’s not a single treatment that works best in each case. Treatments to reduce the signs and symptoms of interstitial cystitis are as follows:

  • Medicines which are taken by mouth or inserted directly into your bladder.
  • Procedures which change the bladder to improve symptoms, like stretching the bladder with water or gas (distention of the bladder) or surgery.
  • Nervous stimulation, which uses light electrical impulses to relieve pelvic pain and, in some cases, decrease urinary frequency.

Treating other forms of noninfectious cystitis

If you are hyper-sensitive to certain chemicals in products such as foaming bath or spermicides, avoid these products. It may help reduce symptoms and prevent cystitis from developing.

Treatment for cystitis that develops as a complication of chemotherapy or radiotherapy focuses on managing pain, usually with medicines and hydration to remove irritants from the bladder.

Lifestyle and home remedies

While cystitis can be painful, there are steps you can take to ease your discomfort:

  • Use a heating pad. A heating pad held on the lower part of the abdomen can soothe and perhaps reduce the sensation of vesicular pressure or pain.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink lots of liquids to stay hydrated. Say no to coffee, alcohol, carbonated beverages containing caffeine and citrus juice, and spicy foods until your infection disappears. These items may irritate the bladder and cause frequent or urgent urination.
  • Take a sitz bath. Soak in hot water bathtub (sitz bath) for 15 to 20 minutes to get rid of pain or discomfort.

If you have repeated urinary tract infections, consult your doctor to develop a plan to reduce recurrence and discomfort caused by cystitis.

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