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What is cystitis?

Cystitis is inflammation of the bladder. The causes of cystitis include urinary tract infection.

Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum
Integrative Medicine Specialist

Cystitis is a bladder infection that is very common in females because the opening from the outside of the body to inside the bladder is very short. This makes it easier for bacteria (usually the healthy E. coli which come from our rectum/stool) to get into the bladder. While most bacterial infections simply get washed out each time you urinate, the E. coli have little "Velcro-like sticky pads" on them that allow them to stick to the bladder wall—so they don't wash out.

Although bladder infections can occur without symptoms, more often they trigger an intense urge to urinate (urgency), urinating frequently (even when there is little urine), and burning on urination (called "dysuria"). Blood visible in the urine is less common, and warrants a trip to the doctor.

Before beginning antibiotics, it is good to have the doctor get a urine sample to do a culture to test for bacteria. Often in women with recurrent bladder symptoms there is no infection, and the antibiotics simply make the problem worse in the long run.

Dr. Kevin W. Windom, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)

Cystitis is defined as inflammation of the bladder. Cystitis is most often caused by bacteria resulting in a urinary tract infection. The most common bacteria to infect the bladder comes from stool. That is why all women were taught to wipe "from front to back."

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.