Cystitis in Women
Cystitis is not a life threatening condition but at the same time, needs the proper medical attention so that the symptoms don’t get any worse. According to studies, is primarily brought about by an infection in the urine or in the urinary tract.
According to Patient.co.uk, cystitis means inflammation of the bladder. It is usually caused by a urine infection. Typical symptoms are pain when you pass urine, and passing urine frequently. You may also have pain in your lower abdomen, blood in your urine and fever (high temperature). Your urine may also become cloudy or smell offensive.
About half of all women have at least one bout of cystitis. For many, only one or two bouts occur in their lifetime. However, recurring bouts of cystitis occur in some women. This most commonly occurs in women in their late 20s and in women aged over 55.
Most urine infections are caused by bacteria (germs) that come from your own bowel. They cause no harm in your bowel but can cause infection if they get into other parts of your body. Some bacteria thrive in urine and multiply quickly to cause infection.
Some bacteria lie around your anus (back passage) after you pass a stool (faeces). These bacteria can sometimes travel to your urethra and into your bladder. Some bacteria thrive in urine and multiply quickly to cause cystitis.
Women are more prone to cystitis than men as their urethra (the tube from the bladder that passes out urine) is shorter and opens nearer the anus.
Some of the factors outlined below contribute to the occurrence of cystitis as well as to its recurrence:
- Bladder or kidney problems may lead to infections being more likely. For example, kidney stones, or conditions that cause urine to pool and not drain properly. Your doctor may arrange some tests if a problem is suspected.
- Having sex increases the chance of cystitis in some women (see below).
- Hormones. Your vagina, bladder and urethra respond to the hormone oestrogen. When the levels of oestrogen in the body reduce, the tissues of these organs become thinner, weaker, and dry. These changes can increase the risk of recurrent cystitis if you have gone through the change (menopause). Cystitis is also more common during pregnancy because of changes in the urinary tract.
Although there is no certain type of protection against cystitis in women, there is however a treatment that can help those suffering from it. According to Medicine Net, the primary treatment is a healthy diet and oral medications.
The principal type of oral medication is the heparinoid (heparin-like) drug pentosan polysulfate sodium (PPS; brand name Elmiron). PPS is chemically similar to the substance that lines the bladder, and it is believed that PPS assists in the repair or restoration of the lining tissues in the bladder. Even after therapy with PPS has begun, patients may still experience symptoms for some time because the sensory nerves in the bladder have been hyperactive, and it takes time for the nerves to return to their normal state of activation. Therefore, doctors recommend giving up to one year of PPS treatment in mild PBS/IC (and two years in severe PBS/IC) before deciding if the drug is effective or not. Between one-third and two-thirds of patients will improve after three months of treatment.
Other oral medications that may be used to treat PBS/IC along with PPS include antidepressants of the tricyclic group. This is not due to a belief that PBS/IC is a psychological condition; rather, tricyclic antidepressants can help reduce the hyperactivation of nerves within the bladder wall. The antiseizure medication gabapentin (Neurontin, Gabarone) has also been used to treat nerve-related pain and has sometimes been used to treat the pain of IC/PBS. Oral antihistamines may also be prescribed to help reduce allergy symptoms that may be worsening the patient’s PBS/IC.
Aspirin (Bayer) and ibuprofen (Advil) are sometimes used as a first line of defense against mild discomfort. However, they may make symptoms worse in some patients. Over-the-counter forms of phenazopyridine hydrochloride (Azo-Standard, Prodium, and Uristat) may provide some relief from urinary pain, urgency, frequency, and burning. Higher doses of the drug are available by prescription as Prodium and phenazopyridine (Pyridium).
Source: Medicine Net
If you suffer cystitis in women, try not to worry so much because there are available treatments for the condition. It is highly recommended that you see your doctor so that he may be able to give you the proper cystitis treatment.