Inflammation of urinary bladder in medical parlance is known as cystitis. It is usually caused due to infection in the urinary bladder, mainly due to pathogenic bacteria. Cystitis is common complaint in young women and at least half of them may have suffered a bout of cystitis sometime in their life. The bacteria gain access by ascent from the urethra, a small tube through which urine passes out of the body.
The clinical characteristic feature of cystitis is frequency of urine, burning and urgency while passing urine, fever, lower abdominal pain, blood in urine and vomiting.Urine may be cloudy and offensive. When bladder infection and inflammation occurs at least two times in six months or three times in a year, the condition is said to be recurrent cystitis.
Normally a course of antibiotics cures cystitis, but when the episodes occur recurrently, it warrants more detailed study for treating it. Recurrent infection of bladder if not treated on time can spread to kidneys, leading to serious health problem.
What Are The Causes Of Recurring Cystitis?
Women are more likely to suffer from recurrent cystitis than men. The infection is common among younger women due to female genital anatomy.In majority of cases the causative organism is E. coli, a type of bacteria. Although it is not clear why the infection and inflammation of bladder occurs recurrently in some individuals, several factors are suspected to cause or increase the risk of recurrent cystitis.
- Short length of urethra in females increases the risk of bacterial infection. Bacteria can enter into the vagina from the anus as they are close to each other. These bacteria breed and thrive near the urethral opening in vagina and thus it becomes an entry point for organisms. The bacteria travel upwards into the bladder easily because the urethra is short and straight. In men it becomes slightly difficult for the bacteria because the urethra is long and tortuous.
- Recurrent cystitis is common problem among women who have multiple partners. It can spread from the opening of urethra into the bladder through sexual intercourse.
- People suffering from diabetes are more at risk of suffering from this recurrent problem.
- People suffering from recurrent cystitis may have family history of this condition.
- Bladder stones obstructing smooth urine flow can cause infection and inflammation of the bladder lining.
- A person in whom stent is used to prevent obstruction of urinary flow has increased risk of recurrent cystitis. Even use of catheter for long duration as seen in males having prostate enlargement may suffer from this problem.
- Some other contributory factors include poor hygiene, tight fitting underwear, contraceptive diaphragm and jellies and hormonal changes in women.
Natural Remedies To Prevent Recurrent Cystitis
It is easy to treat one bout of cystitis as many antibacterial medications are found to be effective. However, management of recurrent cystitis may require more guarded approach. This is because some antibiotics may be found resistant due to their frequent use. In such cases urine culture and sensitivity tests may help to kill the germs.
But often culture and sensitivity tests take time. So if the symptoms are severe and there is an urgency of antibiotic therapy, a mid stream urine sample is collected and sent for examination. After collection of urine, patient may be given the best suitable antibiotic medicines till the report of culture and sensitivity comes. Some physicians recommend a long course of antibiotic treatment to prevent further episodes even after the initial infection is cured.
- Patients with recurrent cystitis should drink enough amount of water which may help the urine to flush out bacteria from the bladder.
- Women who suffer from recurrent cystitis after having intercourse should make it a point to go to the toilet and empty the bladder. In case if the vaginal area is dry use lubricant during the act of intercourse. Avoidance of contraceptive spermicidal cream and diaphragm largely helps to prevent recurrent cystitis.
- Patient should wear loose fitting underwear and maintain good personal hygiene. After each bowel movement women should wipe from front to back as this may reduce the entry of bacteria into the vagina.
- For recurrent cystitis cranberry juice is an excellent home remedy. It not only kills the germs but also flushes out them which are attached to the walls of urinary bladder. Therefore patients suffering from recurrent episodes of UTI should regularly take cranberry juice.
- Drink juice extracted from radish leaves. It is useful to cure and prevent episodes of cystitis in future.
- Cucumber juice has mild diuretic properties. Drink one glass of juice in a day and you can add one teaspoon of honey. Drink this mixture twice in a week for many months if you have recurrent cystitis.