Health Library

Acute Cystitis

Definition

Acute cystitis is inflammation of the bladder. This article will focus on cystitis caused by an infection.

The Urinary Tract
The Urinary Tract
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Causes

Bacteria can cause an infection in the bladder. The bacteria normally live in the colon or vagina. It may be passed or move to the area urine leaves the body. The bacteria can then travel up into the bladder. If a bladder infection is left untreated it can lead to a kidney infection.

Less often, acute cystitis nay be caused by medication or trauma.

Risk Factors

Acute cystitis is more common in women. Other factors that may increase your risk of uncomplicated cystitis include:

  • Being sexually active
  • Use of spermicide
  • New sexual partner
  • History of acute cystitis

Factors that increase your risk of complicated cystitis include:

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:

  • Urgent need to urinate
  • Small amounts of urine during urination
  • Pain in the abdomen or pelvic area
  • Burning sensation during urination
  • Cloudy, bad-smelling urine
  • Increased need to get up at night to urinate
  • Leaking of urine
  • Fever and chills
  • Nausea and low desire to eat

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will also be done. A sample of your urine will be studied for blood and pus. Sometimes the urine will be tested to look for the exact type of bacteria.

A CT scan may be needed for more severe or recurrent problems. The scan may help to see problems or blockages in the bladder.

Treatment

A bladder infection can be treated with antibiotics. It is important to take all of the medication as recommended. A hospital stay may be needed with a severe infection. This will allow the antibiotics to be delivered through IV.

The infection may cause pain and spasms in the bladder. Your doctor may recommend medicine to help manage pain until it passes.

If the cystitis is caused by medication or trauma those causes will need to be managed.

Prevention

To help decrease the risk of a bladder infection:

  • Empty your bladder completely and drink a full glass of water after having sex.
  • Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.

Resources

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
http://www.niddk.nih.gov

Urology Care Foundation
http://www.urologyhealth.org

Canadian Resources

Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

The Kidney Foundation of Canada
http://www.kidney.ca

References

Complicated urinary tract infection (UTI). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114928/Complicated-urinary-tract-infection-UTI. Updated August 12, 2016. Accessed September 29, 2016.

Colgan R, Williams M. Diagnosis and treatment of acute uncomplicated cystitis. Am Fam Physician. 2011;84(77):771-776.

Cranberry. EBSCO Natural and Alternative Treatments website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/biomedical-libraries/natural-alternative-treatments. Updated December 2015. Accessed March 3, 2016.

Katchman EA, Milo G, et al. Three-day vs longer duration of antibiotic treatment for cystitis in women: systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2005;118(11):1196-1207.

Uncomplicated urinary tract infection (UTI) (pyelonephritis and cystitis). DynaMed Plus website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116894/Uncomplicated-urinary-tract-infection-UTI-pyelonephritis-and-cystitis. Updated March 15, 2017. Accessed November 30, 2017.

What I need to know about urinary tract infections. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/uti%5Fez. Updated September 2013. Accessed March 3, 2016.

5/6/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114928/Complicated-urinary-tract-infection-UTI: Barbosa-Cesnik C, Brown MB, et al. Cranberry juice fails to prevent recurrent urinary tract infection: Results from a randomized placebo-controlled trial. Clin Infect Dis. 2011;52(1):23-30.