Learn more about urinary tract infections here.

What is cystitis?

Cystitis is a bacterial infection of the bladder.  The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the exterior of the body.   Localized inflammation in the urethra causes mild symptoms, which may subside without treatment in some instances.  When the infection involves the bladder, there will usually be increasingly severe discomfort.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of cystitis include frequency of urination, pain and/or burning, and occasionally blood in the urine.

What causes it?

Cystitis is caused by bacterial which normally inhabit the lower intestinal tract or skin surfaces that may work its way up the urethra to the bladder and cause an infection.  Sexually transmissible diseases such as gonorrhea and trichomonas can cause infections also.

Contributing factors:

(a) Female anatomy - short urethra making it easy for bacteria to get to the bladder.
(b) Intercourse - mechanical irritation can allow bacteria, already present on adjacent skin, to cause inflammation of the urethra or bladder.
(c) Poor personal hygiene.

Treatment

(a) Medication of choice as determined by clinician.
(b) Force fluids, 8-10 8oz. glasses daily.
(c) It is critical to take the entire prescription and return to the Health Center if no improvement after 2 days on the medication or if symptoms don’t clear after completing the medication.
(d) Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
(e) Return to clinician as soon as possible if fever or back pain develops.

Prevention

(a) Hygiene - always wipe rectal area from the front toward the back.
(b) Urinate before and after intercourse.
(c) Drink adequate fluids 8-10 glasses per day.  Cranberry juice increases acidity of urine and may help decrease bacterial growth.
(d) Empty your bladder every 4 hours during the day whether you feel the need to or not.

If you have any questions, please contact the Health and Wellness Center at 925-631-4254

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Saint Mary's College of California
1928 Saint Mary's Road
Moraga, CA 94575
(925) 631-4000
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