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Cystitis in women: symptoms and treatment


Cystitis in women

With cystitis - inflammation of the mucous membrane of the bladder - every second woman faces at least once in her life. And in every eighth case, the disease becomes chronic and can accompany the patient for many years, now subsiding, then becoming aggravated again.

If you make an "age portrait" of the disease, it turns out that women of childbearing age, sexually active, most often suffer from cystitis: the main peak of the incidence is 22-30 years. The second wave occurs in the period of menopause: after 55–60 years, the risk of getting sick significantly increases.

Causes of cystitis in women

Most often, cystitis is caused by pathogenic bacteria (they have an infectious etiology, as doctors say). The problem is that the inflammation of the bladder mucosa itself is a urological disease, but its causes are closely related to gynecological problems - a violation of the vaginal microflora. Therefore, treatment of cystitis is the competence of both the urologist and the gynecologist. Usually, gynecologists deal with the problem, but if symptoms occur, you can (and should!) Contact any of the available specialists.

So, the main cause of cystitis is bacterial inflammation. The infection usually enters the bladder through the urethra. The female urethra, unlike the male (in men, the average length of the urinary tract, starting from the mouth of the bladder, is about 25 cm), is wide and short. It is close to the vagina, so the vaginal microflora easily gets on the mucous membrane of the urinary tract. However, normally, the immune system successfully fights microbes, “not passing them beyond the bounds of what is permitted”. The disease develops only if the body is affected by additional harmful factors that disrupt the natural balance.

Main triggers

  1. Hypothermia Of course, beauty requires sacrifice, but the size of these sacrifices should not exceed reasonable limits. Thin tights, transparent underwear, a short skirt, a jacket that does not cover the hips, plus cold and wind - and seasonal aggravation is almost guaranteed. Doctors, urologists and gynecologists, subscribe to the precepts of caring parents - keep your hips and lower back warm!
  2. Intense sex life . Very often, the manifesto of the disease occurs at the onset of sexual activity. There is even such a thing as “honeymoon cystitis” and “post-coital cystitis”. The first term means that the disease arose with the onset of sexual activity, and the second concept describes the painful symptoms immediately after intercourse. A strange, unfamiliar microflora can be quite aggressive.
  3. Anatomical features of the urethra . The risk factor is a low urethra. Then, during intercourse, the urethra actually comes into contact with the vagina, as if "turning out", which increases the risk of infection.
  4. Changes in hormonal levels. It is proved that estrogen (female sex hormones) have a protective and immunomodulatory effect. That is why the risk of developing cystitis increases during menopause.
  5. Concomitant urological and gynecological diseases . Pyelonephritis, urethritis (including chlamydia), salpingoophoritis (inflammation of the appendages) - all these problems significantly increase the susceptibility of cystitis. It must be remembered that microbes can enter the bladder from any source of infection, not necessarily through the urethra (although this so-called ascending path is the most frequent). In this case, the bacteria get into the cells of the mucous membrane with the blood flow, and any chronic infectious inflammation, up to a carious tooth, can be the cause of cystitis.
  6. Reduced immunity . Often, urologists observe spring exacerbations of cystitis - against the background of a lack of vitamins and a general "after-winter fatigue."
  7. Difficulty of urine outflow (violation of urodynamics). If you have to “endure” often, postponing the trip to the toilet, then the probability of infection increases.
  8. The same adverse effect is exerted by blood stasis in the pelvic organs when sexual intercourse is incomplete, when excitement occurs, but an orgasm with physiological discharge does not occur.
  9. Intimate hygiene disorder . An important factor, which should not be forgotten. The maxim “annoying purity is a guarantee of health” that has bored all of them is fully justified and acts rigorously.

Symptoms and signs of cystitis in women

The three main features, like the three whales on which the diagnosis of cystitis is, are pain, dysuria, and changes in urine tests.

Very often the scenario is as follows: a short skirt, thin pantyhose, the wind, sitting on a cold bench, "a little bit frozen." And in the morning - a sharp malaise, excruciating, nagging pain in the lower abdomen, and not giving rest a constant desire to urinate. Such a state is exhausting. I always want to go to the toilet, but on another attempt, only a little urine is released. If a woman's bladder can normally hold up to 800–1200 ml, then cystitis causes dysuria - frequent urination in small portions, not bringing relief. It hurts to urinate, patients complain: “it cuts like a knife!”. The pain increases by the end of urination.

Urine changes its appearance: it becomes cloudy, even a small admixture of blood is possible. The body temperature usually does not rise high - up to a maximum of 37.5 degrees.

These are the main manifestations of acute cystitis. A neglected, neglected disease very often turns into a chronic form, and then the symptoms periodically occur with any hypothermia, stress, and disturbance of the usual regimen. It is believed that if acute episodes occur more than twice, then we need to talk about recurrent or chronic cystitis.

Diagnosis of cystitis

The diagnosis is made on the basis of patient complaints and laboratory data. Microscopic examination of a large number of leukocytes and bacteria in the urine (normally, 1–2 leukocytes are permissible in a woman’s field of view, but not more). It is believed that in acute, first developed cystitis, urine culture is not necessary. But during exacerbation of a chronic disease, a microbiological examination is carried out: the pathogen is detected (as a rule, it is E. coli in 85% of cases) and its susceptibility to various antibiotics is determined. An antibiogram (sensitivity test of grown culture) in chronic cystitis is done in order to “shoot” the microbes precisely, not randomly, choosing the most effective medicine.

Separately, it is necessary to mention cystitis caused by STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). Mycoplasmas, chlamydia, ureaplasmas can cause inflammation of the bladder as well as a banal infection. In this case, in order to get rid of cystitis, you need to treat both partners.

Auxiliary methods for the diagnosis of cystitis include ultrasound, cystoscopy, blood tests and the study of vaginal microflora.

Treatment of cystitis in women

Since in the overwhelming majority of cases, cystitis is an infectious disease, we cannot do without antibiotics. The group of drugs, the dosage and duration of administration should be determined by a specialist, and in no case is he an amateur adviser, not a “friend in misfortune” or text from the Internet. The problem is that with the uncontrolled use of incorrect antibacterial drugs, cystitis is not cured, but only “smeared”. Its symptoms are smoothed out, but the disease does not disappear anywhere, turning into a chronic form.

The acute period of cystitis is best spent alone. Doctors strongly recommend staying at home for at least a couple of days. Also, do not hurry with the abolition of drugs. Even with the disappearance of symptoms (and this usually happens after 3-4 days of treatment), the course of antibiotics must be completed (as a rule, it is 7 days). But it’s also impossible to hit the opposite extreme: it has been proven that taking antibiotics for more than two weeks significantly increases the risk of exacerbations of infection in the future.

In the treatment of any form of cystitis, rapid evacuation of urine is important, so urologists recommend drinking as much fluid as possible. Good help - diuretic and urological fees. At the same time, we exclude spicy, salty foods, soda, aggressive mineral water (it irritates the bladder mucosa) from the diet.

Recent studies have shown that the use of cranberries significantly reduces the frequency of exacerbations of cystitis. The fact is that cranberry juice contains substances that do not allow E. coli to attach to the wall of the bladder (scientific language - reduce the adhesion of the infectious agent to urothelium cells ). In 2011, the European Association of Urology (EUA) officially recommended the use of products containing cranberries for female cystitis.

What if there is no opportunity to see a doctor?

If it is not possible to seek medical help, you can try to eliminate the signs of inflammation yourself.

  1. In the acute form of cystitis, bed rest and taking painkillers and antispasmodics are required.
  2. In the absence of pus and blood in the urine on the lower abdomen and under the lower back you need to put a heating pad or a bottle of warm water. Not bad steam bath for feet. Often, such procedures are quite enough to relieve an attack of cystitis.
  3. You can also use a pre-washed red-hot red brick or a piece of granite. The stone should be put in an enamelled bucket, and, wrapping the top edge of the vessel well with a towel, sit on it (on the bucket) for 10 minutes, covered with a warm blanket. Immediately before the procedure, 5 drops of triple cologne can be dropped on a brick. After warming up immediately go to bed.
  4. Every hour you should drink a glass of warm drink (green or kidney tea, non-carbonated mineral water). This will help to “wash” the infection from the bladder faster.
  5. When detecting blood in the urine heat procedures are contraindicated. They can be replaced by douching slightly warm infusion of eucalyptus (1 cup of dry leaves per liter of boiling water). The procedure should be carried out every 2 hours.
  6. During the period of treatment, it is necessary to refuse fatty, fried, spicy, sour and salty foods, as it irritates the walls of the bladder. Alcohol and sex are also prohibited.
  7. To relieve pain, you can use painkillers, No-shpu, Papaverine, special vaginal or rectal suppositories. As for antibiotics, their admission without prior medical examination is strictly prohibited.

It should be borne in mind that these are only temporary measures that can bring relief. A visit to the doctor is still required.

Prevention of cystitis

Here are the basic rules that will help avoid exacerbations:

  • Do not overcool. Do not sit on the cold, keep the lower abdomen warm, do not arrange the early summer heats and winter parade in thin tights.
  • Follow the diet. Limit irritating, salty foods. What excites the tongue, gets to the mucous membrane of the bladder, and will not do it good. Avoid constipation and diarrhea - both trigger cystitis.
  • Drink enough fluids. Urologists recommend at least 2 liters per day. Good fruit drinks, juices, urological herbs. Especially useful tea with milk and cranberry juice - these two drinks have a healing effect.
  • Try not to tolerate, do not postpone the trip to the toilet. Even if “you don’t really feel like it,” it is better to empty your bladder.
  • Do not abuse sexual freedom. A regular partner with the “native” microflora is the best protection against exacerbations. Important: sometimes, for problems clearly related to sexual intercourse, it is enough to change the posture to a less traumatic one: for example, instead of the classic “man on top”, try the back position. Refrain from sex during menstruation. Do not practice the vaginal option directly after anal. Before and after sex go to the toilet.
  • Follow the rules of intimate hygiene. For menstruation, prefer gaskets, rather than tampons. Rinse and always use toilet paper from front to back, so as not to bring flora to the urethra from the anal area. Wash your hands and take an intimate shower before and after intercourse.
  • Treat all chronic infections in a timely manner, be it inflammation of the appendages or chronic tonsillitis .

Important Questions to Ask Your Doctor

Can I Have Sex With Cystitis?

Can. The main thing is to observe the hygiene and the rules of prevention described above.

What is dangerous cystitis?

In addition to a noticeable decline in the quality of life, chronic bladder infection is often complicated by ascending pyelonephritis - inflammation of the renal pelvis. Launched pyelonephritis leads to renal failure.

Can I get cystitis?

Domestic way (through a towel, bedding, toilet) - it is impossible. Microbial pathogens with cystitis refers to opportunistic, and in a small concentration it is not dangerous. But during intercourse, the unfamiliar flora of the partner, harmless to him, may be pathogenic for the female body. Remember that genital infections ( chlamydia , myco-and ureaplasmosis , etc.) can also cause cystitis.

Can I get pregnant with cystitis?

Can. Cystitis is not a contraindication for pregnancy, but it is necessary to treat the disease, since bacteria can get from the mother to the fetus through the general bloodstream. Antimicrobial drugs are prescribed by an experienced specialist, taking into account all contraindications and possible side effects.

Can I take a hot bath?

Undesirable, preferably a shower and a dry body.

Or maybe it will pass by itself?

Will not pass. If untreated, acute cystitis becomes chronic.

And physiotherapy happens?

Yes, a good help in the treatment - laser therapy, electrophoresis with drugs, irrigation of the bladder mucosa with the help of ultrasound.

| 11 May 2013 | | 15 687 | Diseases in women
  • | Kira | July 8, 2015

    Got horror, lower abdomen pulls. they are terrible, and I always want to go to the toilet ((((I do not know what to do, I drink no drunk does not help ((((

  • | Paul's | July 20, 2015

    Kira, but-shpa with cystitis is not an assistant, she can numb for a while. Go to the doctor rather, why endure such pains. I did not dare to sit at home for a long time, I went to the doctor, especially since it is not the first time that my cystitis is getting worse. I was prescribed to drink antibiotic monural, it treats only cystitis, and acts in the bladder, and is sensitive to almost all bacteria that cause cystitis. And most importantly, you need to drink this powder only once (preferably at night), and in the morning there will be no trace of cystitis.

Leave your feedback

Emely Taveras: I notice that I get the pain most when I intake anything with tomatoes. ladies keep a look at the symptoms you get after eating certain foods!

Claudia Draper: Everybody chill , I’m 14 and I am on birth control , every month I get 6 days of the most painful cystitis ever !! It’s awful and I honestly feel so bad for all the women who suffer from it like I do , the best thing to do is go to Tesco / local shop and buy cranberry sachets they really help ease the pain and also distract yourself , praying for all you girls out there love you all!!💖💖

Rigel Moon: I believe IC to be caused by a pathogen that has yet to be cultured.  Like peptic and duodenal ulcers, that went for years unchallenged by microbiology, someone somewhere realized that microbes can survive in extreme environments like outer space and in the deepest oceans where boiling, hot water near volcanic vents provide a home for the most hardy types of nasty, little critters.  The pathophysiology of IC mirrors that of the peptic and duodenal ulcers: we have ulcers in and on our bladder walls.  What's destroying our GAG layer? Something has to be involved.  It's not "auto-immune", for crisake.  "Auto-immune" is a new moniker for saying "they don't have a clue", just like "idiopathic".  Who is continuing research on pathogenic causes of IC?  These websites tell us nothing new.  As well meaning as these sites may be, they're all a generic psycho-babble that we've heard ad nauseam for how long now?   It's so frustrating!  Find the virus/bacteria that's responsible!!  Just because they can't culture it doesn't mean it isn't there.

Yvonne Wilkinson: I am so tired of this. The pain is so bad now I'm on morphine. Would it be better to remove my bladder I dont know. Would that be another nightmare.

Truth: My fiance is going through this and it has devastated her quality of life in a matter of 2 months. Nothing is the same. It's horrible that there isn't more focus on this amongst the medical community. I'm watching my wife to be fall apart in front of me. My heart is broken. If I could take the pain from her so I don't have to endure watching her thrash about in agony, I would. Our lives are not the same anymore.