Cystitis is a bladder and urethra infection that is more common among women than men, due to women having shorter urethras. The most common way this are contracted is through hospital catheters, but the biological cause is the presence of bacteria in the urethra. Anyone who isn’t keeping themselves clean or who practices unsanitary bathroom habits is at risk for infection. There is also a risk of infection during intercourse or when using contraceptive devices or tampons.
The most common sign of cystitis is blood in the urine, but there are many other symptoms that may occur as well. Not all of these are likely to be present for everyone who has it, but it is normal for several of them to appear in each case of cystitis.
There are various types of pain associated with this infection, such as pain in the abdomen, in the lower back or above the pubic bone. There may also be pain or burning during urination, and the urine may be dark, cloudy or have a strong odor. Some women have trouble urinating regularly when they have cystitis and may only be able to urinate a little at a time. Older women may not experience hardly any of these other symptoms and their only indication may be a feeling of weakness or feverishness.
There are a number of conditions that have symptoms very similar to cystitis, particularly sexually transmitted diseases. It is important to consult a doctor if you think you have cystitis or something with similar symptoms, because the problem could develop into something far more severe if left unchecked.
Most forms of cystitis are quite mild and will go away on their own within a few days. If it lasts more than four days, however, it is imperative that you contact your doctor about the condition. Depending on the patients’ needs, the doctor may recommend a course of antibiotics such as Trimethoprim running from 3 days to 10 days. Most people are going to notice an improvement after the first day of being on the antibiotics, but if they don’t, they should see their doctor right away.
Those who are older, ill or who suffer from medical conditions will be more likely to suffer more severe effects from living with the condition for longer, and they need to be treated right away to minimize the danger to them.
Your doctor will likely tell you to make some minor lifestyle changes while you are affected by this condition. It is recommended that you avoid having sex while the infection persists, as you could aggravate the situation. You also should avoid alcohol and drink plenty of fluids to get rid of the infection faster. Your doctor may recommend some painkillers, if your condition is severe enough, and taking cranberries in some form or another (juice, whole berries, supplements, etc.) will help get rid of the infection faster. The cranberries make it difficult for the bacteria to stick to the wall of the bladder, allowing your body to easily expel the bacteria from your system.