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.
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:
- Weak immune system
- Bladder catheter in place or recently used
- Neurogenic bladder
- Renal insufficiency
- Kidney stones
- Problems in the urinary tract that slow the flow of urine, such as vesicoureteral reflux or polycystic kidneys
- History of kidney transplant
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
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.
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.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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