Bacterial cystitis is an infection caused by abnormal or excessive growth of bacteria in the bladder. It is often referred to generically as a Urinary Tract Infection, or UTI. It takes on three specific forms but all are the result of the bacteria present in bladder in excessive quantities and usually uncontrolled by the body's natural defence mechanisms.
Asymptomatic bacteriuria is simply the presence of excess bacteria that presents no outward symptoms. It can only be diagnosed by microscopic inspection of a urine sample. In general it is not treated or tested for except in certain situations such as during pregnancy due to potential for causing preterm labour and other possible issues specific to pregnancy. There are bacteria present in the bladder in the vast majority of people so the test is checking for excessive levels as opposed to the mere presence of the bacteria.
Urinary tract infections are the symptomatic result of the excess bacteria. Typically, bacteria are secreted through urination to prevent the build-up to unhealthy levels manifesting in symptoms. If due to scar tissue in the bladder or urethra the bacteria take hold and grow, or if frequently not fully emptying the bladder when urinating, the bacteria multiply and a UTI is likely to result. For people with frequent UTI's there are several treatments and preventative strategies that can be considered. The most common treatment is with antibiotics.
Acute bacterial cystitis is the sudden and rapid onset of a UTI with more pronounced symptoms. Common symptoms of UTI's are burning or itching, particularly during or immediately following urination, frequent urge to urinate though little urine is secreted and mild pain in the lower abdomen. When these symptoms are very sudden in appearance and include other more pronounced symptoms such as fever, chills, flank pain (pain to one side of body just below the rib cage), nausea and vomiting it is typically defined as acute and requires prompt medical treatment.
Bacterial cystitis is far more common in women than in men. It occurs when bacteria are able to travel up the urethra to settle in the bladder. Because women have a much shorter urethra then men it is easier for this to occur in women. In addition the most common bacterial cause is bacteria from the lower intestine and feces. Do to the proximity of the anus to the urethra in women it simply occurs more often.
For women with a propensity for UTI's, there a practical preventative measures that can be done to prevent the occurrence and limit the duration and severity. When used as a
preventative they are done by themselves. When used to limit duration and severity they are typically done in addition to any other Physician's Instructions and a course of antibiotic treatment.