Cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder that affects mainly women because of a bacterial infection. Although it is mostly benign, this inflammation requires adequate treatment to relieve symptoms and avoid the occurrence of complications.
What is cystitis?
Cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder , a hollow organ of the urinary tract. Common, this condition is one of the main reasons for medical consultation.
What are the different types of cystitis?
When diagnosing cystitis, it can be considered as:
- a simple acute cystitis , sometimes called simple cystitis or classic cystitis, which is punctual and is easily treated;
- complicated acute cystitis , which presents a risk of complication and requires increased vigilance;
- recurrent acute cystitis , when it becomes frequent and occurs at least four times in a 12-month period;
- chronic cystitis , more commonly referred to as interstitial cystitis, which is a rare form of cystitis characterized by painful and frequent symptoms in the bladder.
What are the causes of cystitis?
The development of cystitis can have many causes. We distinguish in particular:
- Infectious cystitis: They are the most common and are mainly caused by a bacterial infection ( bacterial cystitis ). In the majority of cases, the germ responsible for cystitis is Escherichia coli . Nevertheless, they can be caused by other bacteria or parasites, especially during a urogenital tuberculosis or a urogenital schistosomiasis. Infectious cystitis may also be due to the development of a fungus ( fungal cystitis ).
- The interstitial cystitis : chronic and rare forms of cystitis, interstitial cystitis are the also called painful bladder syndrome because of their painful symptoms in the bladder and urethra. Although some hypotheses are made, the precise causes of interstitial cystitis are not yet defined. They could be caused by an autoimmune disease, an alteration of the bladder wall, or an allergic reaction ( allergic cystitis ).
- Iatrogenic cystitis: They are caused by a medical procedure, a medical examination or the taking of certain treatments. In particular, iatrogenic cystitis may occur following radiotherapy (radiation cystitis ).
Who is affected by cystitis?
Cystitis common in women.
Cystitis is a condition that primarily affects women . It is estimated that one in two women will have at least one cystitis in her lifetime. Men are much less affected by cystitis than women because they have a longer urethra. The urethra is the canal that leads urine from the bladder outward.
Cases of cystitis in humans.
Although they are rarer than in women, cystitis in humans should in no way be neglected. The risk of developing cystitis increases with age. In addition, the symptoms of cystitis in humans can be confused with those of prostatitis, inflammation of the prostate, or epididymitis, inflammation of the epididymis. These inflammations require medical advice.
What is the risk of complication?
A real risk of complication. In the majority of cases, cystitis is benign, that is to say without danger to health. Nevertheless, medical advice and adequate treatment are essential to limit the risk of complications.
The risk of infectious cystitis. If left untreated or poorly treated, infectious cystitis may spread and cause pyelonephritis, an inflammation of the kidney. This condition is serious and requires urgent medical consultation.
The risk of cystitis during pregnancy. In the most severe cases, cystitis can expose the pregnant woman to a risk of premature delivery.
What are the symptoms of cystitis?
Cystitis can be manifested by various symptoms such as:
- urinary burns ;
- frequent and urgent urges to urinate , without succeeding in evacuating a lot of urine;
- a feeling of heaviness in the lower abdomen , sometimes accompanied by pain;
- an unusual smell of urine.
In some cases, traces of blood can be seen in the urine. Cystitis can sometimes lead to urinary incontinence, with involuntary and uncontrollable losses of urine.
What are the risk factors for cystitis?
Several factors can increase the risk of developing cystitis.
In women, these factors include:
- the pregnancy ;
- menopause ;
- urinary incontinence;
- a lack of personal hygiene;
- sexual intercourse
- genital prolapse;
- severe renal failure.
In humans, these factors include:
- prostate disorders;
- urinary incontinence;
- severe renal failure.
How to prevent cystitis?
Prevention measures . Simple steps can be taken to limit the occurrence of cystitis such as:
- to drink a lot of water ;
- do not hold back when you want to urinate;
- avoid the use of overly aggressive hygienic products;
- wipe back and forth after urination
Preventive action of cranberry. Several scientific studies have also highlighted the interest of cranberry in the prevention of infectious cystitis. More commonly known as cranberry, cranberry has shown beneficial effects in people at risk including pregnant women.
In the majority of cases, cystitis is treated by taking antibiotics.