What you need to know about cystitis or urine infection

One of the most frequent reasons for medical consultation is cystitis, or popularly known as urinary tract infection. However, the medical term refers to inflammation of the bladder and urinary tract infection due to various causes; In fact, it describes the detection of microorganisms in the urine, which are usually bacteria (bacterial) and sometimes fungi (fungal) or viruses (viral).

According to global statistics, 50% of the female population will experience urinary problems at least once in their lives, This is attributed to the length of the urethra (only 4 cm) which facilitates the entry of microorganisms into the body. Furthermore, it has been shown that most cases occur in healthy women between the ages of 18 and 30.


Cystitis usually gets better within a few days. However, in more complex or recurring conditions, the patient may require long-term treatment with medications best suited to combat the cause of the infection.

What are the symptoms and causes of cystitis?

The most common symptoms of cystitis include a burning, pain, or stinging sensation during urination. You may also experience the sensation of having to urinate more often and in much smaller amounts than usual. If the infection has progressed, there may also be blood in the urine (hematuria), fatigue, general malaise, a change in the color of the urine towards darker shades, with a different odor and a different density (cloudiness).

If these symptoms are accompanied by fever, it is possible that the infection affects other organs, such as the kidneys or prostate in the case of men.

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Regarding the causes – and as mentioned at the beginning of this article – urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria (bacterial cystitis). But, cystitis can also have other causes such as exposure to radiotherapy, use of spermicidal gels, having unprotected sex, reaction to medications, among others (non-infectious cystitis).

In bacterial cystitisExperts have held microorganisms coming from feces responsible. Enterobacteriaceae are responsible. Till today, Escherichia coli – E. coli plays a major role in being responsible for 85% of uncomplicated infections in sexually active women, 70% of uncomplicated infections in adults and 50% of hospital-acquired infections.

After e coliOther common germs include Proteus, Klebsiella, Enterobacter, Citrobacter, Pseudomonas, Serratia, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus faecalisand especially, staphylococcus saprophyticusWhich represents 15% of infections in sexually active women, indicates the University of Navarra Clinic.

Are there any risk factors for cystitis?

Currently, it is known that there are certain aspects that can cause the appearance of cystitis: previous medical conditions, demographic factors, habits integrated into the lifestyle. However, the risk may increase in the following conditions:

  • Be a sexually active person.
  • Use of certain types of contraceptives.
  • Suffer from diabetes, cancer or are immunocompromised.
  • Getting pregnant or going through menopause.
  • Obstruction in urinary tract.
  • Infectious lithiasis (stones caused by chronic urinary tract infection) is being diagnosed.
  • Experiencing difficulties in intestinal transit in the form of constipation or diarrhea.

Various habits and conditions can also contribute to the development of urinary tract infections: exposure to cold, wearing tight underwear, states of emotional stress, drinking less water or hormonal changes, especially in women.

How is it diagnosed and what is its treatment?

The tests and analyzes required to evaluate a patient with cystitis vary depending on the suspected site of infection and the symptoms present. The most common evaluations include a physical examination (the doctor palpates the patient’s abdominal and pelvic area to identify areas of pain or redness), urinalysis (to determine the presence of infectious agents), and culture of the urine. urine, vaginal fluid, or urethral fluidL (accurately identify the pathogen and measure the effectiveness of antibiotics).

Treatment of cystitis generally involves the use of antibiotics, and the specific option depends on the case, the cause, and the type of infection, whether this is the first time it has occurred or it is a recurring infection.

To choose an antibiotic, doctors or specialists should take into account three fundamental aspects:

  • This reflects the low prevalence of bacterial resistance, which remains below 20%.
  • Its administration is carried out easily, through a short regimen that guarantees the continuous presence of the antibiotic for a period of 3 days.
  • It produces minimal ecological impact.

When infection is the result of a physical obstruction to the flow of urine, such as a stone, surgery may be required to remove the obstructing factor or correct the presence of a physical abnormality, such as a uterus or a descended bladder.

If you think you may have cystitis, experts recommend getting a medical consultation to confirm the diagnosis and drinking plenty of water. Self-medication is not advised under any circumstances, as it can lead to bacterial resistance over time.

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