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Cystitis – Causes, Complications, Diagnosis, Symptoms, Treatment

Cystitis is the medical term for inflammation of the bladder. Most of the time, the inflammation is caused by a bacterial infection, in which case it may be referred to as a urinary tract infection (UTI). A bladder infection can be painful and annoying, and can become a serious health problem if the infection spreads to your kidneys.

Less commonly, cystitis may occur as a reaction to certain drugs, radiation therapy or potential irritants, such as feminine hygiene spray, spermicidal jellies or long-term use of a catheter. Cystitis may also occur as a complication of another illness.

The usual treatment for bacterial cystitis is antibiotics. Other treatments are used for other types of cystitis.

Causes

Your urinary system is composed of the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. All play a role in removing waste from your body. Your kidneys — a pair of bean-shaped organs located toward the back of your upper abdomen — filter waste from your blood and adjust the body composition of many substances. Tubes called ureters carry urine from your kidneys to the bladder, where it’s stored until it exits your body through the urethra.

Bacterial cystitis
UTIs typically occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and begin to multiply. The urinary system is designed to keep out such microscopic invaders. The bladder secretes a protective coating that prevents bacteria from attaching to its wall. Urine also has antibacterial properties that inhibit the growth of bacteria. However, certain factors increase the chances that bacteria will take hold and multiply into a full-blown infection.

Bacterial bladder infections may occur in women as a result of sexual intercourse. During sexual activity, bacteria may be introduced into the bladder through the urethra. But even sexually inactive girls and women are susceptible to lower urinary tract infections because the female genital area often harbors bacteria that can cause cystitis.

Most cases of cystitis are caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli), a species of bacteria commonly found in the genital area. A new strain of antibiotic-resistant E. coli may be the cause of increasingly hard-to-treat UTIs in women.

Main types of infections
The two main types of bacterial bladder infections are: Continue reading Cystitis – Causes, Complications, Diagnosis, Symptoms, Treatment