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Everything You Need to Know About Cystitis

Bladder inflammation, or cystitis, can cause uncomfortable symptoms like bladder pressure and the frequent urge to urinate. At Urology Group of Florida, the experienced team of urologists provides extensive diagnostic and treatment services for the full range of conditions that affect the urinary tract.

Cystitis Q & A

What is cystitis?

Cystitis occurs when your bladder becomes irritated or swollen. This inflammation is usually due to a urinary tract infection (UTI), typically caused by bacteria in the urethra or bladder that multiples out of control.

You can also experience bladder inflammation without an infection. In these cases, cystitis is often due to one or more of the following:
  • Hygiene products like bubble bath and vaginal deodorant sprays

  • Spermicide/diaphragm use

  • Some medications

  • Exposure to radiation

  • Ongoing catheter use

While anyone can experience bladder inflammation, it’s most common in women.

What are the symptoms of cystitis?
  • Cystitis can cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, including:

  • Frequent urge to urinate and feelings of a full bladder

  • The need to urinate, even with an empty bladder

  • Strong-smelling or cloudy urine

  • Hematuria, or blood in your urine

  • Low-grade fever

  • Painful sexual intercourse

  • Pain or discomfort in your back or abdomen

When left untreated, a bladder infection can spread to your kidneys. Additional symptoms that might indicate a kidney infection include chills, nausea and vomiting, and pain in your side or back.

Who is at risk for cystitis?

Anyone can develop bladder inflammation, but women have higher occurrences. Their chances increase based on several factors, including:

  • Sexual activity

  • Pregnancy

  • Diaphragm and spermicide use

  • Exposure to personal hygiene products

  • Menopause

Cystitis can also be due to other medical conditions, especially those affecting the urinary tract, like an enlarged prostate or kidney stones.

How is cystitis diagnosed and treated?

The Urology Group of Florida team of doctors relies on numerous screenings to identify the cause of your cystitis. In addition to a physical exam, they may perform a urine test to look for signs of infection. They might also recommend digital imaging screenings or cystoscopy to check your bladder for signs of disease or abnormalities.

Based on the cause of your symptoms, your doctor may suggest a variety of treatments. Sometimes home care therapies like over-the-counter pain relievers, heating pads, and sitz baths can provide effective relief for cystitis. If you have an infection, your doctor usually prescribes medications like antibiotics.

The Urology Group of Florida providers also offers bladder instillation, a drug therapy to manage cystitis symptoms and pain. In some cases, surgery may be needed to address structural issues

Your doctor might also recommend drinking lots of fluids, wearing loose-fitting clothes and cotton underwear, and following a diet free of foods or beverages that irritate your bladder.


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