Cystitis is the medical term for the inflammation of the bladder.
Women are more prone to cystitis than men because, in female, the urethra is shorter and wider.
This makes it easier to get infected. In total, about 20-40% of women have the infection at some point in their lives.
- Causes of cystitis
- Types of cystitis
- Symptoms of cystitis
- Treatment of cystitis
- Possible complications
- Cystitis during pregnancy
- Prevention of cystitis
1Causes of cystitis
Cystitis is a disease that can occur at any age. It is, mainly, caused by the following factors:
- overcooling of the pelvic area;
- injury of the bladder mucosa;
- passive lifestyle;
- spicy and fat foods;
- presence of chronic gynecological or sexually transmitted diseases;
- the presence of the foci of infection in the body;
- unprotected sex;
- lack of hygiene.
The main cause of this disease is hypothermia. The most dangerous is overcooling of feet and pelvis. Therefore, one shouldn’t sit on cold surfaces, wear thin silk underwear, as well as very light shoes during the cold seasons.
Confining job is also a risk factor, causing stagnation of blood in the veins of the pelvis. For example, you cannot sit permanently in one place for 4-5 hours. If your job requires constant sitting, you should try to get up more often and do 15-minute breaks.
The presence of chronic pelvic diseases affecting women is creating positive environment for the transition of the infection to the urinary system organs, including the bladder. For this reason, gynecological diseases of inflammatory nature, as well as sexually transmitted diseases should be carefully treated to a full recovery under the observation of a specialist.
Hormonal disorders, as well as deficiency diseases can become contributing factors for the occurrence of this disease.
A special category of reasons that can cause cystitis are violations of the rules of hygiene. You risk acquiring this disease if you:
- rarely change tampons or sanitary napkins during your period;
- practice transitions from anal to vaginal intercourse;
- often wear tight-fitting synthetic underwear;
- constantly apply panty liners;
- wipe in the direction to your anus after defecation;
- fail to comply with urination mode.
It is necessary to empty your bladder at least 5 times a day, otherwise entering of the infection into the bladder is facilitated due to stagnation or decomposition of urine.
In 90% of cases the disease is caused by E. coli. Another typical representative of pathogenic flora causing this disease is staphylococci. Microbes enter via the ascending path – from the rectum or the skin through the urethra.
2Types of cystitis
Depending on the nature of the disease cystitis is divided into acute and chronic. The acute form occurs in the presence of florid symptoms and following a sudden provoking factor.
Chronic cystitis is characterized by less severe symptoms and is often caused by some other diseases.
Depending on the cause that resulted in pathology, there is primary and secondary cystitis, as well as bacterial and non-bacterial cystitis.
Bacterial inflammations of the body are caused by infections of various origins – streptococci, enterococci, gonococci, etc. This way infection can be hematogenous, lymphogenic, descending or ascending.
Non-bacterial cystitis develops at irritation of the wall by drugs, chemicals or other substances. There is thermal, toxic, radiation, allergic or alimentary cystitis.
If the primary cystitis is characterized by the affection of the bladder by any of the identified factors directly, the secondary cystitis develops as a result of the disease of this or any other nearby organ. For example, it is usually accompanied by kidney stone disease, prostate cancer, urethral stricture, etc.
3Symptoms of cystitis
Symptoms of the disease depend on its type. While acute cases manifest an obvious clinical picture with severe sharp pains during urination which happens twice an hour, the symptoms are absolutely absent in the chronic course in remission.
The most specific symptoms of acute form of the disease include:
- painful and frequent urination;
- cutting suprapubic pain in the area of the bladder;
- cloudy urine;
- an increase in temperature, in severe cases.
Some patients also experience such symptoms as blood in the urine and sensation of pressure or bladder fullness. Some patients suffer from such strong cramps at the end of urination that the feeling of pain extends into the rectum.
If a man experiences such symptoms, he should immediately contact an urologist because male cystitis are almost always secondary. The main cause of it is most likely to be prostate disease, stones in kidneys or diabetes. Symptoms of cystitis are very similar to those of non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU).
Occasionally cystitis can be asymptomatic. In such cases, the diagnosis is established by chance when performing a urine test on another occasion.
In the presence of a typical clinical picture acute cystitis is identified due to a rapid improvement under the influence of antibacterial agents. In addition, the results of laboratory tests and ultrasound data are taken into account.
Cytoscopy is performed after the disappearance of the acute effects in order to clarify the diagnosis. It is an inspection of the internal condition of the bladder.
Pelvic examination is very important for women. It can disclose accompanying diseases, contributing to the development of cystitis.
Therefore, the full inspection of a patient with chronic cystitis consists of:
- analysis of urine;
- bacteriological urine culture;
- analysis of urine by Nechiporenko;
- PCR diagnostics;
- ultrasound of urogenital organs;
- biopsy – if necessary.
Cystitis should not be confused with urethritis, which is an inflammation of the urethra and manifests only sharp pains, burning and pain during urination. In many cases, these diseases accompany each other.
If the inflammation does not respond to the treatment and the process becomes protracted, it is neccessary to find out the cause of this situation. In this case, for the purpose of correct treatment of cystitis, it is necessary to differentiate it from other diseases such as prostatitis, bladder cancer or tuberculosis.
When diagnosing cystitis one should also consider that cystitis doesn’t cause temperature increase of more than 37.5 degrees. If the patient has this symptom, he/she requires consultation of an urologist to exclude a possibility of kidney disease.
5Treatment of cystitis
To get rid of the outbreak or aggravation of this extremely unpleasant disease you need to follow these guidelines:
- remain at bed rest;
- take prescription medications;
- drink plenty of warm liquids;
- follow the diet.
Antispasmodics, antibiotics, herbs with diuretic effect are a common treatment for acute cystitis. No-spa, Drotaverinum, Papaverinum are recommended to relieve painful muscle spasms. They can be used in the form of tablets or as suppositories. Hot water-bag put on the lower abdomen helps eliminate cutting pain.
Diuretic herbs such as bearberry, leaf cranberries, kidney tea are frequently used during cystitis. Cranberry, lingonberry and blueberry fruit drinks are also very useful in such a situation. There are ready-made herbal medicines – Kanefron or Cystone in a form a pill or Phytolysinum pasta. But the use of pharmacological means is better to be combined with drinking a lot of warm water.
Warm baths with herbs or washing the external genitalia with warm water and soda solution will help alleviate the condition after a painful urination.
Marinades, spices and pickles should be excluded from the diet during acute cystitis. Dairy products and fruit, especially watermelon, are very useful.
Procedure aimed at restoring the flow of urine should be prescribed in case of chronic course of the disease. These include, for example, the treatment of BPH or the removal of the urethra stricture. It is mandatory to carry out the identification and elimination of foci of infection in the body. In chronic forms of cystitis antibacterial treatment is carried out only after the relevant laboratory tests – urine culture, identifying the pathogen and its sensitivity to antibiotics.
Traditional methods of treatment
There are many traditional methods that have a positive effect on the diseases of the urinary tract, including cystitis. The most effective of them are the following:
- Boil 3 liters of milk. Pour one large mug into a bowl. Put your feet into the bowl and wrap yourself from the waist up with a blanket. When the milk in the bowl begins to cool, you should add another mug of milk. This continues until you use all of the milk. When you repeat the procedure you can boil and use the same milk again. Repeat until the condition improves.
- Take 2 halves of red brick and heat it in the fire. Put them into an empty metal bucket, the edges of which should be wrapped in cloth. You should wrap up the lower part of the body in a rug or blanket and sit on a bucket. Sit in that position until the brick stops radiating heat. After the procedure you should go and lay down in bed. Repeat it several times.
Not all patients are allowed to heat pelvic region. For example, such procedures are contraindicated for women with myoma or fibromyoma. In such cases, drinking diuretic herbs for 1.5-2 months will help. If you resort to herbal medicine you should repeat the course in order to avoid the recurrence of the disease. For example, after the acute outbreak of the disease the treatment should be repeated in 2-3 months, and in the treatment of chronic forms – in 3-5 months.
Herbal tea has a good effect in treatment cystitis. Mix equal proportions of parsley, thyme, St. John’s wort, dill and knotweed. Put 1 teaspoon of the mixture into 1 cup of boiling water and let it infuse. Drink half a cup of this infusion three times a day for 20 days. It is necessary to carry out 3 courses with a 10-day break between them. You’ll feel a relief right after the first course; however, a full cycle helps to get rid of chronic cystitis.
Rapid improvement in the condition can be obtained if you put a handful of dried flowers of cornflower into 300 g of boiling water and infuse for 30 minutes. You should drink half of the substance in small sips in the evening, the second half – in the morning.
You can get rid of the symptoms of acute cystitis if you eat 0.5-1 liter of cranberries at once. But this does not mean that further treatment should be completely stopped.
The effects of the popular methods are more sustainable if they are used in combination with a diet and medication.
Due to a properly conducted therapy the symptoms disappear in 5-10 days. But, often, after home or hastily performed treatment signs of disease disappear only for a while. The true cause of the disease remains in the body and makes itself felt immediately at the slightest overcooling. In this case we say that cystitis is in the chronic form.
Chronic form of the disease is particularly dangerous for girls, because it can lead to scarring of the posterior urethral wall and its reduction in volume. This gives rise to a vicious circle, when the foci of infection are constantly feeding each other.
Also, if cystitis is not sufficiently treated, the infection can travel from the bladder to kidneys, resulting in a more severe disease – pyelonephritis. Therefore, a few more symptoms such as pain in the lumbar region, fever and edema are added to the frequent urination.
A serious complication of the disease, which occurs in the absence of proper treatment, is the development of interstitial cystitis. Thus, the infection invades not only the mucosal but also the submucosal layer and muscular body wall. Its tissues get scarred and deformed, which leads to shrinkage and volume loss of the bladder. The only way to save the patient is surgery. The organ is removed completely, and then the new one is created from colon tissue by plastic reconstruction.
7Cystitis during pregnancy
The disease, which occurs mostly in women, may also occur during pregnancy. One in ten women gets to know about the existence of this disease during a difficult period of pregnancy.
Its occurrence in the early stages is explained by the changes in hormonal background, as well as the phenomenon of immunosuppression of the pregnant woman, that is the depression of the immune system. It is due to the weakening of the immune system that microorganisms can freely multiply and cause inflammation of the lining of the bladder. Therefore, the slightest hypothermia, violation of the rules of hygiene, and even abrupt climate change could cause a future mother to experience acute cystitis in all its strength.
The emergence of this disease can also be due to an ever-growing uterus that compresses the bladder and leads to violation of the outflow of urine, which causes the active reproduction of pathogenic microbes.
The complexity of the treatment of cystitis during pregnancy is that taking medication may adversely affect the body of the child. But at the same time, the treatment should be carried out immediately because the infection can spread to kidneys. Therefore, you need to take the drugs which work precisely in the bladder. Of the list of antibiotics that are usually prescribed in such cases, pregnant women are allowed to take only Monural. It has a great advantage over other antibiotics, consisting in the fact that it is sufficient for the treatment taken in a single dose. In some cases Kanefron or Co-Amoxiclav may be added to the treatment.
Often, instillations are prescribed for the treatment of cystitis in pregnancy. This procedure consists in the introduction of antibacterial compounds into the bladder through a catheter. These include protargolum, rivanol and medicated oils. After the introduction of the solution the patient should keep it in the bladder for about 5-10 minutes. This procedure is performed in a hospital under the supervision of a physician. Despite the powerful therapeutic effect, it is not always safe for the fetus.
Cystitis disease is not only unpleasant but also dangerous for pregnant women. The kidneys, which in this period are experiencing an increased stress already, fall under the double pressure in the presence of bladder inflammation. The infection can move up the ureter and cause the development of acute pyelonephritis – this disease requires an immediate hospitalization of a pregnant woman.
8Prevention of cystitis
The following simple guidelines will help you prevent the disease:
- observe the intimate hygiene;
- avoid feet overcooling;
- do not sit on cold surfaces;
- do not eat spicy and salty foods;
- treat genital infections in a timely manner;
- do not use underwear made of synthetic materials.
If you are leading a sedentary lifestyle you should stand up and have a warm-up every 20-30 minutes. Of course, you also need to empty your bladder timely.
A good method of prevention of cystitis is drinking of a glass of cranberry juice or taking cranberry in any other form daily. This natural remedy has diuretic and disinfectant properties and prevents the adhesion of the infection to the walls of the bladder.