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Cystitis, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention, Complications

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Cystitis, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention, Complications


Cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder that causes pain when urinating. Cystitis is most often caused by a bacterial infection that also causes urinary tract infections.

Cystitis is more common in women. This happens because a woman's urinary opening is shorter and closer to the anus, so it is easy to get contaminated with bacteria from the anus. The risk will be higher if you are used to cleaning the genital area or washing from back to front.

Causes of Cystitis

Cystitis is a term that describes inflammation in the bladder. This condition can be caused by infection and non-infection.

Cystitis due to infection, also known as bladder infection, is most often caused by the bacterium E.coli. These bacteria are actually normal and harmless if they are in the intestines. However, if they enter the bladder, these bacteria can cause inflammation.

While non-infectious cystitis is generally caused by damage or irritation in the bladder. It can be triggered by long-term use of a urinary catheter, sexual activity, side effects of radiotherapy or chemotherapy, and irritating chemicals, such as spermicides.

One type of non-infectious cystitis whose exact cause is unknown is interstitial cystitis. Bladder inflammation can cause pain in the bladder in the long term.

Cystitis risk factors

Bladder inflammation is most common in women who are sexually active, use diaphragmatic contraceptives or spermicides, are pregnant, or have gone through menopause.

In addition, the following factors can also increase the risk of developing cystitis:

  • Have a habit of cleaning the intimate area from the anus to the genitals, namely from back to front
  • Suffering from diseases that block the flow of urine, such as bladder stones, kidney stones, urinary tract infections, or enlarged prostate
  • Experiencing urinary incontinence due to spinal cord injury
  • Suffering from diabetes
  • Using soap that can irritate intimate organs, such as perfumed soap
  • Using a urinary catheter in the long term
  • Undergoing radiotherapy or chemotherapy in the pelvic area
  • Have a weak immune system, for example due to HIV infection

Symptoms of Cystitis

Symptoms of cystitis can vary from person to person. However, in general, bladder inflammation in adults will cause symptoms such as:

  • The frequency of urination increases, but the amount of urine excreted is small
  • Pain or burning (like burning) when urinating
  • Cramps in the lower abdomen
  • Urine that is cloudy or has a strong smell
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Bloody urine
  • Weak
  • Fever

Meanwhile, cystitis in children can be characterized by the following symptoms:

  • High fever
  • Frequent bedwetting or urination
  • Stomach ache
  • Body feels weak
  • More fussy than usual
  • Decreased appetite
  • Vomit

When to go to the doctor

Immediately see a doctor if you or your child experience the symptoms of cystitis as mentioned above, especially if they do not improve within 3 days

  • Bloody urine
  • Severe back pain
  • Fever and chills
  • Nausea and vomiting

You also need to see a doctor if you have recurrent cystitis. If you have been diagnosed with cystitis, follow the treatment given by your doctor and have regular check-ups according to the schedule given.

Cystitis Diagnosis

To diagnose cystitis, the doctor will ask questions about the patient's symptoms and medical history. Next, the doctor will perform a physical examination, including in the abdomen, back, and waist area.

The doctor will also perform a number of the following investigations to confirm the diagnosis:

  • Urine test, to check for blood, white blood cells, bacteria, or nitrites in the urine, which could indicate infection
  • Urine culture, to detect the type of bacteria or microorganism that causes cystitis
  • Cystoscopy, to examine the condition of the bladder and detect the presence or absence of inflammation of the bladder
  • Ultrasound, to look at the structure of the bladder and rule out other causes, such as tumors in the bladder

Cystitis Treatment

Treatment of cystitis depends on the severity and cause. Mild cystitis usually resolves without treatment and only needs to be managed independently. Here is the explanation:

Self care

In mild cystitis, there are several self-care that patients can do to reduce the symptoms of cystitis, namely:

  • Don't hold your pee.
  • Drink plenty of water to help clear bacteria or other microorganisms from the bladder.
  • Warm stomach compresses to relieve abdominal pain and discomfort.
  • Do not use soap that can irritate intimate organs.
  • Do not have sex until completely healed.


If the cystitis doesn't improve after self-care, your doctor can prescribe medications to treat the infection, prevent complications, and relieve symptoms.

Cystitis caused by a bacterial infection will be treated with antibiotics. The doctor will adjust the type and dose of antibiotics according to the type of bacteria and the severity of the patient's cystitis.

It is important to remember, follow the instructions for use, duration of use, and the dose of antibiotics given by the doctor. Do not stop taking antibiotics without first discussing with your doctor even though the symptoms of cystitis have subsided.

To reduce the pain and discomfort felt by the patient, the doctor will also give medicine, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.

Cystitis Complications

Bladder inflammation rarely causes complications if treated quickly and appropriately. However, left untreated or delayed cystitis can lead to the following complications:

  • Kidney infection (pyelonephritis)
  • Acute kidney failure
  • Kidney abscess
  • Sepsis

Cystitis Prevention

Cystitis can be prevented by doing the following:

  • Don't hold your pee.
  • Do not clean the intimate organs with scented soap.
  • Do not use powder on intimate organs.
  • Do not rush when urinating, because it can make urine not come out completely.
  • Use contraception as needed, limit the use of diaphragms and spermicides if you have had cystitis.
  • Get in the habit of urinating after sex.
  • Get in the habit of cleaning the genital area from front to back.
  • Wear cotton underwear, don't wear tight, and change every day
  • Drink enough water, at least 8 glasses per day.

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