What is Cystitis?
Cystitis is an inflammation of the lining of the bladder. It results in the frequent urge to pass small amounts of urine, which can cause a burning or stinging sensation. The urine may have an unpleasant odour or may contain blood. It may also cause feelings of pain and tenderness in the lower part of the abdomen, and fever and chills may also be experienced.
Causes of Cystitis
Usually, the cause of cystitis is a bacterial infection, commonly from a bacterium called E.coli. Cystitis is more common in women than men because of their shorter urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder). This allows the transmission of bacteria to the inside of the bladder more easily. Anything that obstructs the flow of urine out of the bladder increases the risk of infection by encouraging urine to stagnate. For example, cystitis may occur more often in people who have a narrowed urethra due to previous infections. For men, the most likely cause of out flow obstruction is an enlarged prostrate gland, a condition that is a common problem for elderly men. Pressure on the bladder outlet, for example during pregnancy or from a contraceptive cap (diaphragm), also increases the risk of cystitis
How is Cystitis diagnosed?
Cystitis is diagnosed by the symptoms and the test results of a urine sample, which is sent to a laboratory for examination. A culture is grown from the sample to identify the organism responsible
Symptoms of Cystitis
- Pain, often with a burning, stinging sensation, when passing urine.
- Urge to frequently pass small amounts of urine, which may be cloudy, smell fishy or contain blood.
- Pain in lower abdomen.
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