Cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder, typically caused by a bacterial infection around the urethra. This condition is a subset of lower urinary tract infections (UTIs). Women, due to their anatomical structure, are more susceptible to this ailment. Their shorter urethra, situated closer to the anus, facilitates bacterial access to the bladder. In contrast, men's longer urethra, positioned further from the anus, reduces the chances of bacterial transmission.

Key Risk Factors for Cystitis:

  1. Delaying urination allows bacteria to multiply in the urinary tract.
  2. Inadequate or incorrect genital hygiene, particularly in women.
  3. Use of antibiotic-containing vaginal cleansers in women, which can eliminate beneficial bacteria.
  4. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
  5. Hormonal shifts in menopausal women leading to reduced vaginal and urethral lubrication.
  6. Poorly managed diabetes, which can weaken the immune system.
  7. Extended antibiotic usage.
  8. Long-term use of urinary catheters.

Symptoms of Cystitis

  • Increased urge to urinate, even after emptying the bladder.
  • Discomfort in the lower abdomen.
  • Painful or burning sensation during urination.
  • Cloudy or odorous urine; blood presence in severe instances.

Diagnosis Procedures

A combination of urine analysis, urine culture tests, and medical history evaluation aids in diagnosing cystitis. For recurrent instances, further investigation through ultrasound or cystoscopy may be necessary to identify issues like bladder or kidney stones.

Effective Treatment Approaches

The primary treatment involves a concise antibiotic course, hydration, and symptomatic treatments like analgesics for bladder relief. Patients are urged to consult a doctor before medication, preventing drug resistance due to mismatched medications.

Prevention and Self-care Guidelines

  1. Urinate promptly when needed.
  2. Elderly individuals should avoid excessive fluid intake before sleeping.
  3. Maintain proper genital hygiene; always wipe from front to back.
  4. Use plain water and mild soap for vaginal cleaning.
  5. Urinate and cleanse post-intercourse.
  6. Manage known risk diseases, such as diabetes.
  7. For recurrent infections in postmenopausal women, consider topical estrogen therapies like vaginal suppositories. Always consult a doctor due to potential side effects.
  8. Follow doctor's recommendations if on immunosuppressive medications.