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Acute Cystitis with Hematuria: How It Can Be Treated

Blood in your urine can be frightening, and at times, a telltale sign of acute cystitis with hematuria. Read on for a comprehensive guide to this medical condition, how it affects you, and the steps you should take to treat it.

What is acute cystitis with hematuria?

So exactly “what is acute cystitis with hematuria?” The term cystitis refers to an inflammation of the bladder. It’s traceable to any number of problems, the most typical one being a bacterial infection. Acute cystitis brought on by bacteria is also known as a urinary tract infection (UTI). It causes bleeding in the bladder, which then appears in your urine. 

Though not uncommon among women, if a UTI is left untreated, it results in serious health consequences. The bacteria moves to your kidneys, which can lead to a major infection or renal failure. Certain drugs, radiation therapy, or even the use of spermicidal jellies, feminine douches, and hygiene sprays may trigger a bladder infection. The insertion of a catheter also increases your risk of developing acute cystitis.

Symptoms of acute cystitis with hematuria

While the most obvious symptom of acute cystitis with hematuria is blood in your urine, a bladder infection presents several other symptoms. You might feel a strong, overwhelming urge to pee and a burning sensation when you do go. 

Additionally, some experience bladder leakage throughout the day or need to urinate many times in small amounts. Keep in mind that urine that gives off a strong smell, and appears cloudy instead of clear, is usually an indication of bacterial infection.

Other signs of acute cystitis include soreness or discomfort in your lower pelvis, similar to dull menstrual cramps. Also, be on the lookout for a feeling of pressure on your lower abdomen around the bladder area, as well as a low-grade fever. Note that women with a history of UTIs tend to be more susceptible to recurring infections. 

Children are equally vulnerable to UTIs; particularly younger girls who may not wipe properly after using the bathroom. If you notice your little one wetting their pants in the daytime, after they’ve passed the stage where this is considered normal, consult your pediatrician.

Children are equally vulnerable to UTIs; particularly younger girls who may not wipe properly after using the bathroom.

As mentioned, untreated bladder infections can progress into kidney infections, renal failure, and even become fatal. That’s why it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms include back or side pain, fever and chills, and nausea and vomiting. Frequent, painful urination, along with hematuria, are both reasons to see your doctor. 

Furthermore, if acute cystitis symptoms return, the medication for your initial infection might not be working. In this case, you’ll need to consult your doctor for a different prescription or treatment. 

Causes of hematuria in acute cystitis

The amount of blood in your urine depends on how severe your bladder damage is. There could be just enough hematuria to tinge your urine pink. Or there might be enough to produce bright, red blood, not to mention spotting on your underwear. 

Severe instances of hematuria in acute cystitis are known as hemorrhagic cystitis. It typically occurs in cancer patients undergoing radiation and some types of chemotherapy. It presents suddenly, with pain and pressure in and around your bladder. Hemorrhagic cystitis is serious when accompanied by significant bleeding. But with proper medical attention, it can be treated successfully.

While bladder and kidney infections are the likeliest reason behind hematuria, vigorous exercise, kidney injury, and kidney stones offer other possible explanations. Symptoms of kidney stones include pain on one side of your lower back that makes it difficult to stand up straight.

Other urinary tract diseases, such as kidney and bladder cancer, produce blood in your urine as well. However, this rarely occurs and must be diagnosed by a doctor. 

Is hematuria in acute cystitis an emergency?

Hematuria from acute cystitis could indicate that the bacteria in your bladder have reached your kidneys. Whether or not blood in your urine constitutes a medical emergency depends on the underlying causes of acute cystitis. If there’s only a small amount of blood, consider scheduling a doctor’s appointment or visiting an urgent care clinic.

However, if you’re pregnant or trying to become pregnant, you should seek medical attention right away. The bacteria from a bladder infection may result in serious complications with your pregnancy. 

Whether or not blood in your urine constitutes a medical emergency depends on the underlying causes of acute cystitis. If there’s only a small amount of blood, consider scheduling a doctor’s appointment or visiting an urgent care clinic.

If you’ve been injured or experienced a fall and spotted blood in your urine immediately afterward, get help right away. Hematuria could point to kidney bruising or other internal injuries.

Lastly, if there’s quite a bit of blood in your urine and it’s bright red in color, that’s also a good reason to see your doctor. The sooner you address the issue, the better your chances are of preventing a kidney infection.

How to treat acute cystitis with hematuria

Since hematuria in acute cystitis is technically a symptom, rather than a condition, there is no direct treatment. Instead, your doctor will focus on its underlying cause. That may mean prescribing a regimen of antibiotics for a bladder infection or adjusting existing medications for bladder or kidney cancer.

If you notice blood in your urine, it’s important to ask your doctor for a diagnosis before taking any steps. The approach to treatment depends heavily on the type of infection you have. Kidney infections, for example, are much more complex than bladder infections. They need intensive medication to kill the bacteria, and particularly severe cases might even require dialysis. 

Ways to prevent acute cystitis

Acute cystitis is usually brought on by bacteria entering the bladder through your urethra. Minimize your risk of developing a UTI and bladder infection by taking necessary precautions. Drink plenty of water, both to prevent dehydration and encourage frequent urination, which flushes bacteria out of your bladder regularly.

If you’re sexually active, remember to pee as soon as possible following intercourse. Avoid using birth control that could irritate the area around your urethra’s opening or introduce bacteria into your bladder. Many types of spermicidal jellies, cervical sponges, and diaphragms foster increased or altered bacterial growth.

Always maintain proper hygiene, and pay close attention to how you wipe after using the bathroom. Remember to wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria from your anus or bowel movements from entering your bladder or vagina. Opt for daily showers instead of baths, and steer clear of feminine sprays and douches. Lastly, never delay urination. If you feel the urge to urinate, then go as soon as you can. 

When to see a doctor

Do you suspect you have a urinary tract infection? Have you observed any of the above mentioned signs or symptoms? Then be sure to see your doctor, who can treat it with prescription antibiotics.

Takeaway

If you’ve wondered, “what is acute cystitis with hematuria?”, you’re certainly not alone. Hematuria, or blood in your urine, generally points to a larger medical issue, and is treatable if caught early. 

Individuals with a history of bladder infections and cancer patients who notice blood in their urine should seek help right away.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cystitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20371306

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3126088/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2938536/

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/blood-in-the-urine-hematuria-in-adults-beyond-the-basics

https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/hemorrhagic-cystitis

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