What is the definition of Acute Cystitis?

Acute cystitis is an infection of the bladder or lower urinary tract. Acute means that the infection begins suddenly.

What are the alternative names for Acute Cystitis?

Uncomplicated urinary tract infection; UTI - acute cystitis; Acute bladder infection; Acute bacterial cystitis

What are the causes for Acute Cystitis?

Cystitis is caused by germs, most often bacteria. These germs enter the urethra and then the bladder and can cause an infection. The infection commonly develops in the bladder. It can also spread to the kidneys.

Most of the time, your body can get rid of these bacteria when you urinate. But, the bacteria can stick to the wall of the urethra or bladder, or grow so fast that some stay in the bladder.

Women tend to get infections more often than men. This happens because their urethra is shorter and closer to the anus. Women are more likely to get an infection after sexual intercourse. Using a diaphragm for birth control can also be a cause. Menopause also increases the risk for a urinary tract infection.

The following also increase your chances of having cystitis:

  • A tube called a urinary catheter inserted in your bladder
  • Blockage of the bladder or urethra
  • Diabetes
  • Enlarged prostate, narrowed urethra, or anything that blocks the flow of urine
  • Loss of bowel control (bowel incontinence)
  • Older age (most often in people who live in nursing homes)
  • Pregnancy
  • Problems fully emptying your bladder (urinary retention)
  • Procedures that involve the urinary tract
  • Staying still (immobile) for a long period of time (for example, when you are recovering from a hip fracture)

Most cases are caused by Escherichia coli (E coli). It is a type of bacteria found in the intestines.

What are the symptoms for Acute Cystitis?

The symptoms of a bladder infection include:

  • Cloudy or bloody urine
  • Strong or foul-smelling urine
  • Low fever (not everyone will have a fever)
  • Pain or burning with urination
  • Pressure or cramping in the lower middle abdomen or back
  • Strong need to urinate often, even right after the bladder has been emptied

Often in an older person, mental changes or confusion are the only signs of a possible infection.

What are the current treatments for Acute Cystitis?

Antibiotics can be taken by mouth. These are most often given to stop the infection from spreading to the kidneys.

For a simple bladder infection, you will take antibiotics for 3 days (women) or 7 to 14 days (men). For a bladder infection with complications such as pregnancy, diabetes, or a mild kidney infection, you will most often take antibiotics for 7 to 14 days.

It is important that you finish all the antibiotics prescribed. Finish them even if you feel better before the end of your treatment. If you do not finish the antibiotics, you may develop an infection that is harder to treat.

Let your provider know if you are pregnant.

Your provider may prescribe medicines to ease discomfort. Phenazopyridine hydrochloride (Pyridium) is the most common of this type of drug. You will still need to take antibiotics.

Everyone with a bladder infection should drink plenty of water.

Some women have repeat bladder infections. Your provider may suggest treatments such as:

  • Taking a single dose of an antibiotic after sexual contact. These may prevent sexually transmitted infections.
  • Keeping a 3-day course of antibiotics. These will be given based on your symptoms.
  • Taking a single, daily dose of an antibiotic. This dose will prevent infections.

Over-the-counter products that increase acid in the urine, such as ascorbic acid or cranberry juice, may be recommended. These medicines lower the concentration of bacteria in the urine.

Follow-up may include urine cultures. These tests will make sure the bacterial infection is gone.

Lifestyle changes may help prevent some urinary tract infections.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Acute Cystitis?

Most cases of cystitis are uncomfortable, but go away without complications after treatment.

When should I contact a medical professional for Acute Cystitis?

Call your provider if you:

  • Have symptoms of cystitis
  • Have already been diagnosed and symptoms get worse
  • Develop new symptoms such as fever, back pain, stomach pain, or vomiting
Female
Male

REFERENCES

Cooper KL, Badalato GM, Rutman MP. Infections of the urinary tract. In: Partin AW, Dmochowski RR, Kavoussi LR, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh-Wein Urology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 55.

Nicolle LE, Drekonja D. Approach to the patient with urinary tract infection. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 268.

Sobel JD, Brown P. Urinary tract infections. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 72.

  • Condition: Acute Cystitis Caused by Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamase (ESBL)-Producing Escherichia Coli and Klebsiella Pneumoniae
  • Journal: Investigative and clinical urology
  • Treatment Used: Amikacin plus Amoxicillin/Clavulanate
  • Number of Patients: 47
  • Published —
This study assessed the effectiveness of single-dose amikacin and a 7-day oral regimen of amoxicillin/clavulanate for the treatment of acute cystitis (infection of the bladder or lower urinary tract) caused by extended-spectrum beta lactamase (an enzyme made by some bacteria; ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli (a type of bacteria) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (a type of bacteria).
  • Condition: Pregnant Women with Uncomplicated Lower Urinary Tract Infections
  • Journal: Urologiia (Moscow, Russia : 1999)
  • Treatment Used: Cystenium II
  • Number of Patients: 42
  • Published —
This study evaluated the effectiveness of cystenium II (an herbal dietary supplement) for the treatment of uncomplicated lower urinary tract infections in pregnant women.