Cystitis or urine infection is common in women, and in pregnancy it can also occur, we will tell you how to treat and prevent it.
The Cystitis is inflammation acute urinary bladder , with infection or not, a very common condition that affects people of all ages although more prevalent in women and the elderly. Urine infection can be sporadic or recurrent, when three or more episodes occur in a year.
In the case of urine infection, the most frequent cause is infection by bacteria, although infections by viruses or fungi can also occur. More than 75% of infections are caused specifically by the Escherichia Coli bacteria , located in the intestines. It is followed in importance by S. saprophyticus, Proteus mirabeles and Proteus vulgaris. The bladder is a hollow organ that receives urine through the ureters, stores it, and expels it from the body through the urethra during urination. Both the urethra and the urine stored in the bladder are sterile under normal conditions, they do not contain microorganisms, so in cystitis these microorganisms colonize the urine (bacteriuria) and subsequently an inflammation of the bladder mucosa occurs.
These bacteria or germs invade the urinary tract , either entering the end of the urinary tract, the urethra, or through the bloodstream. In most cases the urine infection is caused by a single germ. Only a few cases exist a polymicrobial infection.
This infection is more common in women due to the anatomy, since women have a shorter urethra than men and are closer to the anus, so bacteria more easily reach the urethra and from there to the bladder. It is also more frequent in summer, when the temperature rises and the genital area is more humid due to sweat or swimming in swimming pools, conditions that help the growth of bacteria.
SYMPTOMS OF CYSTITIS
Cystitis has easy-to-recognize symptoms :
– Increase in the frequency of urination with little amount of urine.
– Feeling of urge to urinate continuously .
– Severe pain in the upper pubic area.
– Dysuria or difficult, painful and incomplete urination. It is described as burning at the beginning or end of urination.
– Hematuria or presence of blood in the urine.
– Cloudy and strong-smelling urine .
– Uncomplicated cystitis does not usually present a fever.
To diagnose a urine infection, specific tests are required to confirm or rule out cystitis. The doctor can feel the abdominal and pelvic area of the patient to detect painful places. The most common test is an oriculture to determine what type of bacteria is causing the infection and which antibiotics may be effective. Sometimes a cystoscopy can be performed , introducing a tube with lenses and light through the urethra to observe the condition of the same and of the bladder.
AND WHAT HAPPENS DURING PREGNANCY?
Cystitis can also occur during pregnancy, produced by the same microorganisms as in women who are not pregnant, and the E. coli bacteria are also the main cause. It is not confirmed that pregnancy increases the risk of suffering from cystitis but there are some conditions that increase the development of urinary tract infections. The enlarged uterus compresses the ureters and makes it difficult for urine to pass . The bladder loses muscle tone and it becomes more difficult to urinate to empty it. In addition, urine is less acidic and may contain glucose. All this together gives the opportunity for bacteria to proliferate more easily.
Sometimes there is asymptomatic bacteriuria , the presence of bacteria in the urinary tract without presenting any symptoms. It usually does not cause problems and goes away on its own. However, if it is not treated during pregnancy, the risk of developing a kidney infection or pyelonephritis increases. To avoid suffering from these infections that do pose a complication during pregnancy, routine urine tests are performed throughout the gestation period.
HOW IS CYSTITIS TREATED?
Once the pathogen has been identified, antibiotics will be used in the case of infection by bacteria, antivirals in the case of viruses, or antifungals in the case of fungi. It will be the doctor who recommends one medicine or another according to the patient’s history and their physical conditions, such as allergies or pregnancy.
As bacteria are the most common cause, antibiotics will be used, amoxicillin, trimethoprim or ampicillin being the most common. In recent years, the use of drugs called quinolones, such as ciprofloxacin , has been introduced . Sometimes analgesics are required if there is a lot of pain and antipyretics if there is fever. Treatment is usually less than two weeks and must be completed by drinking large amounts of water to help cleanse the urinary tract of bacteria.
PREVENTION OF CYSTITIS
Taking a few simple measures we can prevent the recurrence of cystitis:
– Drink plenty of fluids .
– If you really want to urinate, do it as soon as possible, do not hold it back.
– Do not use perfumed personal hygiene items .
– A correct cleaning of the anus after a bowel movement, from front to back (from the vagina to the anus), to prevent the entry of bacteria into the urethra.
– After having sexual intercourse, urinate as soon as possible, thus eliminating possible germs that have entered the urethra.
– Some contraceptives such as the diaphragm are not recommended for women who tend to suffer from cystitis.
– Wear cotton underwear and avoid tight clothing.
– Complement the diet with cranberries or derived products such as juice. This fruit contains substances that prevent bacteria from nesting in the mucosa.
Dr. Tabriella Perivolaris, Sara's mother and fan of fashion, beauty, motherhood, among others, about the female universe. Since 2018 she has been working as a copywriter, always bringing to her articles a little of her experience and experience as a mother and woman.