Cystitis, or inflammation of the bladder, is an inflammatory response to the adhesion of bacteria to the surface of the bladder and the lining of the urethra.
Urine is otherwise physiologically sterile, thanks to the defense mechanisms against infections: pH concentration, urea and ammonia concentration, and the defense mechanism is also urination itself (approximately 1.5 liters of urine per day). But when it comes to bladder inflammation, all that changes.
Who is most susceptible to bladder inflammation?
Inflammation of the bladder affects women 50 times more often than men. The main reason for this is in female physiology – a short urethra located near areas where bacteria are present (anus, vagina). Female urine also has a higher pH than male (acidity of urine reduces the growth of bacteria), especially during pregnancy.
Urinary tract infection is common during pregnancy (physiological expansion of the urine, hormones, alkalization of urine…), affects somewhere between 4 and 10% of pregnant women. If left untreated, it can have serious consequences for both the mother and the fetus – it can develop into kidney inflammation, which can lead to miscarriage, slower fetal development or premature birth.
During this period, it is therefore very important to seek natural and safe solutions to prevent and alleviate infections.
Did you know?
– 40-50% of adult women experience urinary tract infections once in a lifetime.
– 20-30% of women who have had urinary tract infections once in a lifetime experience a re-entry of bacteria into the urinary system.
– 2 major risks: onset of sexual intercourse and postmenopause
Urinary tract infections are very rare among men as their urethra is longer. However, after the age of 50, the incidence of the disease increases significantly. Bladder emptying is impaired, leading to a urinary tract infection.
In children, bladder inflammation is often associated with a specific functional or anatomical abnormality, but can also be associated with poor hygiene conditions (diapers). Any unexplained fever in a child or newborn can be a sign of a urinary tract infection, so a quick reaction is needed.
How to recognize cystitis or inflammation of the bladder?
The most common symptoms of a urinary tract infection are:
- burning pain during urination,
- frequent urination of small amounts of urine,
- severe, sharp, stabbing pain after urination,
- severe, cramping pain, most often in the lower abdomen, which may radiate to the lumbar region or down to the thighs,
- the appearance of blood in the urine, which therefore becomes pink or reddish,
What causes a bladder infection?
In as many as 80% of cases, the main culprit for inflammation of the bladder is the bacterium E. coli (Escherichia coli). This one lives in our gut, and due to the proximity of the urinary tract, it can quickly reach the bladder, cling to its walls, and multiply there.
Of the other bacteria that cause urinary tract infections, the most common are Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Proteus mirabilis, Klebsiellosis, and Enterococcus.