Cystitis is a bacterial infection of the lower urinary tract, causing inflammation of the bladder lining. Generally cystitis is not a serious condition, but in the worse cases it can spread to the kidneys and damage kidney function.
Cystitis affects people from all ages and sexes but it is more common among females. This is because the urethra is shorter in women than in men.
The majority of the urinary tract infections are caused by the bacteria Escherichia coli. This bacteria inhabits the lower intestine and is part of the intestinal flora. But it can spread to the uretra by direct contact with clothes, sexual intercourses or poor hygiene practices. Some of the conditions that may cause UTI infections are:
- Using tight underwear and tight pants.
- Wiping from back to front (specially in women), may push fecal bacteria into the urinary tract.
- Using infected Urinary catheters.
- Inserting a tampon that was in contact with the bacteria.
Usually mild infections go away after few days. But persistent infections should be treated with antibiotics to avoid the infection from spreading to the kidneys. Aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetominophen can help control mild bladder pain. The general recommendations for fighting the infection are:
- Drinking plenty of fluids can help flush the bacteria out (Specially 100% Cranberry juice).
- Avoid alcohol.
- Refrain from sex during infection.
### When to go to the doctor
You should go to the doctor if the cystitis symptoms do not disappear after 2 days or they worsen. If you have a weakened immune system or you get cystitis frequently.