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Why You Have Cystitis
Any woman who has had cystitis cringes from the viewpoint held by many doctors that three or four bladder infections a year is no big deal. The pain of these episodic infections is excruciating. For hours and perhaps days, she can think of nothing else as her bladder controls her life. And while these common bacterial infections are not life-threatening, they are temporarily life-shattering. Cystitis won't kill you, but it does make life miserable.
Cystitis can occur at any time in males and females of any age. Children, grandmothers, husbands, and sisters can develop it, for various reasons. It is most common, however, in sexually active women. So to begin explaining how bladder infections develop in healthy people, we'll start with Tricia's story.
It was Monday morning. Tricia woke up and stretched, remembering the delightful evening before. It had started with a dinner date and wonderful conversation and ended with Tricia in the arms of her favorite man.
But now, as she sipped a first cup of coffee before work, she noticed something was not right. She had a strange need to urinate. There was a tingling sensation in her urethra and a feeling of pressure in her lower abdomen.
She had the feeling that she needed to go to the bathroom and needed to go now. First, while on the toilet, she removed her diaphragm. It had been in place about eight hours now, and she felt assured that it had worked correctly.
Moments later, Tricia's feeling of well-being was shattered. When she urinated, it hurt horribly.There was a searing, burning sensation as warm urine trickled out of her bladder. It felt as if someone were pouring acid on an open wound. She squeezed out everything she could and went back into the other room.
She thought, What am I going to do? At work, she had a report to finish before a 2:00 p.m. committee meeting and at least a dozen telephone calls to make. This felt like a bladder infection coming on. She knew from experience that it could knock her out of action for several days. She gulped down three glasses of water and went to work.
At the office, Tricia's symptoms grew worse. When she went to the bathroom, she noticed her urine was a smoky color. Later, there was a bit of blood on the tissue.
A colleague gave her cranberry juice and a vitamin C tablet. Another told her to wash her vagina with copious amounts of cool water. But Tricia developed a gnawing pain around her pubic bone and it seemed every time she urinated, the pain was more intense.By 4:00 P.m., Tricia was in agony. She desperately wanted medical help. All the water, cranberry juice, and vitamin C had not helped. She couldn't stand the discomfort any longer. What went wrong? Why did this happen now?
Cystitis and Your Anatomy
Women who develop bladder infections constantly ask these questions. Why me? Why now? To understand what went wrong, you need to understand how your urinary tract is supposed to work and to know which parts of your body are affected by cystitis.
Amazingly, most women do not know where their urethra is located. Many of my patients are embarrassed to tell me they don't know this simple fact. Others think they know where the urethra is located but are way off track.
Look at the illustrations on page 16 of the female lower urinary tract.You Don't Have To Live With Cystitis. Copyright © by Larrian Gillespie. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.