Cystitis is the name given to an inflammation of the bladder. In common talk, the term cystitis
refers to a urinary tract infection
limited to the lower part of the urinary tract, not going back into the kidney, in which case we speak of pyelonephritis
. Women are disproportionately affected, because the risk of urinary tract infections is more important, given the shorter size of the female urethra, which facilitates the rise of germs into the bladder. In most cases, the causative organism is Escherichia coli.
Depending on the cause of cystitis, the person may complain of different symptoms:
- Pain during urination with a burning sensation;
- Frequent urination, often in very small quantities;
- Urgent needs, sometimes with urine leakage;
- Presence of pus or blood in the urine;
- Foul-smelling urine;
- Occasional abdominal pain;
- The absence of a fever.
A doctor will perform an examination to look for signs that can evoke a rise of urine to the kidneys with the presence of fever, and especially a pain in the back. A dipstick test done on a urine sample will highlight the presence of white blood cells in the urine, and sometimes bacteria and nitrites. In case of doubt, a cytology examination will be performed in a laboratory before the starting of treatment. This review provides a more accurate study of urine, looking for possible bacteria and, if applicable, its sensitivity to various antibiotics. In the case of recurrent cystitis, other tests such as ultrasound will aim to highlight any malformation of the urinary system.
In the most common case, treatment consists of taking antibiotics to eliminate any trace of the causative agent. Treatment taken once, called minute treatment, is often sufficient. In other cases, several days of antibiotics is prescribed. It is highly recommended to drink a good amount, about two liters a day, of water to allow for proper drainage of the bladder.
Several tips are useful to prevent cystitis and a risk of recurrence.
- After using the toilet, it is particularly recommended to wipe from front to back to avoid contamination by bacteria from the digestive tract;
- Drinking plenty of water facilitates the emptying of the bladder and prevents the rise of germs;
- Avoid wearing clothes that are too tight and / or synthetic as well as the use of harsh soaps.