Bacterial cystitis

Bacterial Cystitis

Description, Causes and Risk Factors:

Bacterial cystitis

Abbreviation: BC.

Bacterial cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder, caused by bacteria entering the bladder via the urethra. Bacterial cystitis can affect males and females of any age or race, although it is most commonly found in women.

BC occurs when the lower urinary tract become infected by bacteria. Most cases are caused by E. coli (Escherichia coli) a bacteria found in the intestine. When you urinate, you help remove bacteria from the bladder. However, sometimes the bacteria grow so fast that some remains in the bladder.

Other causes include:

    Vigorous sex or having unprotected sex.

  • Using tampons.

  • Hormonal changes - During pregnancy, it is more difficult to empty your bladder properly which can lead to a build up of bacteria. Postmenopause, a reduction in oestrogen levels means the bladder is not as resistant to infection.

  • Diabetes - increased sugar levels in urine stimulates bacterial growth.

  • Catheters can damage the urethra and cause infection to spread to the bladder.

  • Bowel incontinence.

  • Not drinking enough fluids.

The condition is very common most often affects sexually active women at age 20 to 50. However, the infection may also occur in those who are not sexually active. Older adults also have high risk for developing BC; this is due to conditions such as benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostatitis, and urethral stricture.


    Dysuria (pain when urinating).

  • Frequent need to pass small amounts of urine.

  • Urinary incontinence.

  • Cloudy/dark urine.

  • Foul smelling urine.

  • Pain in the lower abdomen and back.

  • Malaise or a general feeling of being unwell.


To diagnose BC, your doctor will look at your medical history, ask about your symptoms, and perform physical exam that includes pressing on your abdomen to check for tenderness. If BC is suspected, your physician will ask urine sample for C&S.

Diagnostic work-up of BC includes:


  • Urine culture.

  • Ultrasound imaging of bladder and kidneys.

  • Vaginal examination.

  • Intravenous urography.

  • Cystoscopy.

  • Micturition cystourethrogram.


BC normally clears up on its own within 3 - 5 days. Mild symptoms can be treated via over-the-counter antibiotics. It's important to take the entire course of antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor, even if your symptoms improve within a couple of days. It's important to remain hydrated and drink enough fluids. Reduce fruit juice, alcohol and don't drink too much tea and coffee. Cranberry juice is regarded as a good way to flush the infection out of your system. Those with medical conditions or who are taking medication should check with their doctor first. It is also important to note that whilst taking antibiotics do not drink too much cranberry juice as it may dilute the antibiotic in the urine and affect its success.

Disclaimer:The above information is just informative purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.

DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.


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