Cystitis: the key questions and answers

Cystitis - plants

Bladder infections are common. It is estimated that every second woman is overtaken by this adversity in the course of her life. And not infrequently repeated times. The doctor then speaks of a recurrent cystitis (recurrent cystitis). Secured figures are not available for distribution, as many affected women do not even go to the doctor. Cystitis often occurs in younger women with active sex lives. The germ transmission during sexual intercourse is considered a typical infection route. The use of a condom does not change that either. Because the bacteria responsible (especially gram-negative such as Escherichia coli) are not transmitted by the sexual partner, but come mainly from the intestinal or anal area of ​​the woman itself. That's the reason for the recommendation for proper toilet hygiene, which reads: from the front to the back, not the other way around.

Beneficial factors: short urethra of the woman, enlarged prostate in the man

In the sex comparison, the short urethra (about 3-4 cm) of the woman promotes the rise of bacteria in the bladder. The man has clear advantages in this regard (about 20 cm). That changes however in the higher age. On the other side of the 60's, an enlarged prostate often causes disability in the urine flow and thus, from a bacterial point of view, better opportunities for promotion and growth. Whereby the urinary tract infection is sometimes misinterpreted as an inflammation of the prostate. In women, falling estrogen levels during menopause contribute to an increase in urinary tract infections. As a result, the mucous membranes of the lower urinary tract become more porous and thus more susceptible to bacterial infections. In the elderly, bladder infections are more common overall than in younger years and the discrepancy in sexual distribution decreases.

Typical symptoms of cystitis: frequent urination and pain when urinating

The symptoms of bladder infection are quite typical: sudden burning and pain when urinating, as well as the increased urge to urinate, even if hardly anything comes. Often there is the feeling of pressure resistance, with cramping bladder may be added slightly higher-fitting abdominal pain.

Similar symptoms can sometimes cause a irritable bladder. It is also more common but is not caused by bacteria.

The clarification is made by examining a urine sample. This is obligatory, so always for diagnosis in suspected urinary tract infection. When bacteria are involved in the event, traces of blood are usually found in the urine using test strips. With the naked eye, however, they are usually not visible on lighter gradients. Is it always necessary to go to the doctor with an inflamed bladder? The question immediately follows is: Does a bladder infection always need to be treated with antibiotics?

Antibiotics in cystitis: often not necessary, but always with imminent complications

The latter is accepted in principle by most medical associations and the national treatment guidelines. There are two main reasons for this: the rapid resolution of the symptoms and the danger of a further spread of the inflammation - provided that the current resistance situation is taken into account when selecting the drug and the medication is effective. Both arguments can not be denied. With the spread of infection via the ureter to the kidneys is actually not to joke. Cystitis is the most common cause of pyelonephritis. Under certain circumstances, this can lead to the complete destruction of the affected kidney and may require kidney removal or dialysis. In the worst case, it can also lead to a carryover of the bacteria via the bloodstream (sepsis) with imminent death. Fortunately, these are all rather rare exceptions, but you should be aware of the danger. Signs of infection from the bladder to the kidney are backache and fever. In this case you should see a doctor immediately. This also applies to particularly pronounced symptoms if the symptoms persist for more than three days or if the urine visibly clouds or becomes bloody.

Cystitis: Drinking a lot, heat and medicinal plants can help

In the usually milder course there are relatively good prospects of getting rid of cystitis without antibiotics again. The chances of self-healing are estimated at 30-50%. Therefore, for mild symptoms, many physicians consider supportive treatment without antibiotics sufficient in the first two to three days. Drinking a lot (water, unsweetened herbal tea) is generally healthy, but especially important in case of cystitis. On the flushing effect for accelerated bacterial elimination is also the effect of the "Blasentees".

Furthermore, heat helps. On the one hand in the form of a hot water bottle or as a sitz bath to relax the inflammatory cramped bladder muscles. On the other hand in the form of a reasonably warm and dry clothing (also on the feet!). Because a supercooling in the genital area plays the unwanted bacteria only in the hands. In addition, a herbal therapy can both relieve the symptoms and promote the healing process. The suitable medicinal plants have anti-inflammatory, water-drenching (diuretic), muscle-relaxing or antispasmodic or direct antibacterial effects.

Prevent! And look beyond the bubble edge ...

Last but not least: Avoid bladder infections, especially repeated ones! Although antibiotics usually help at short notice. However, they can cause greater harm than good in the long term (inter alia by negatively influencing the bacterial milieu). It should be made clear that normally the "bad" bacteria are not the real problem. Many of them are more or less constantly in our body environment. Rather, it is usually first favorable circumstances and a weakened defense that make it possible for an infection to occur.

The prevention is often relatively easy, we have some tips for you. Sometimes, however, a more fundamental analysis is needed, which should include lifestyle and, above all, diet.

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