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Cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder (an organ which stores urine before it is passed out of the body).


Cystitis is usually caused by bacteria that enter the bladder through the urethra. These bacteria can later even spread the infection to the kidneys.

Cystitis can affect both men and women and people of all age groups. It more commonly affects women because their urethra is shorter and closer to the anus. About 20-40% women might have experienced cystitis sometime during their lifetime.

Women are more likely to get an infection after sexual intercourse or when using a diaphragm for contraception. Menopause also increases the risk for a urinary tract infection. Incomplete evacuation of the bladder due to enlarged prostate (in men) or pregnancy can also cause cystitis.

A person with cystitis usually experiences pain or burning sensation while urinating, increased frequency and urgency to urinate, fever and lower back or abdominal pain. The urine may be foul smelling and appear cloudy or opaque.

The diagnosis of cystitis is primarily based on signs and symptoms. Urinalysis and urine culture help confirm the diagnosis and decide which antibiotic is best suitable to clear the infection. In case of repeated infections, the doctor may advice an x-ray or ultrasonography of the bladder and kidneys.

Oral antibiotics are recommended to treat cystitis so as to prevent the infection from spreading to the kidneys. Besides this, painkillers and medicines to relieve the burning pain can be used. The patient is advised to drink plenty of fluids, especially water to flush out the germs from the system.

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