The "itis" in Cystitis literally means inflammation, and in this case inflammation of the bladder; its usual cause is a urine infection.
Most urine infections are due to bacteria (germs) that come from your own bowel. Small amounts of bacteria may remain on your skin after a bowel movement. These bacteria can sometimes enter your urethra and travel into your bladder. Some bacteria thrive in urine and multiply quickly to cause infection.
However, repeated attacks are now thought to be caused by dormant bacteria already present in bladder cells: Hultgren (Washington University School of Medicine (2007, December 17). Bacteria That Cause Urinary Tract Infections Invade Bladder Cells. Science Daily) suggests that when women are between episodes of symptomatic infection, intra-cellular E. coli may be in dormant phases, living behind biofilms.
Here are some of the more well-known bacterium that affect the bladder: Proteus, Klebsiella, Enterococcus, Pseudomonas and Staphylococcus.
Other risk factors for cystitis include having diabetes mellitus, being pregnant, being sexually active or having radiotherapy.
Anyone at any age can experience the symptoms of cystitis, but generally the symptoms are the same and you will experience some or all of the following:
It is always important to seek medical advice and a diagnosis that you have cystitis.
Women are eight times more likely to have cystitis than men, as their urethra (the tube from the bladder that passes out urine) is shorter and opens nearer the anus. About half of all women have at least one bout of cystitis. For many, only one or two bouts occur in their lifetime. However, some women have recurring cystitis throughout their lives (see biofilms).
Babies, toddlers and young children can get cystitis. Symptoms of cystitis in children may include:
Get medical attention promptly as these are also the signs of serious illness in children.
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