The most common disorder affecting the bladder is an inflammation termed cystitis. It is a good deal more common in women than in men.
Cystitis produces an entire set of uncomfortable symptoms, among which are:
1. Frequent desire to urinate. Although the bladder feels as though it is full, so that the desire to urinate may be quite urgent. only small amounts of urine are passed; nonetheless the patient may find it necessary to go to the bathroom every few minutes throughout the day.
2. Frequent complaint of painful urination. This is often described as a burning pain.
3. Sometimes, because of painful spasm around the bladder opening, it is difficult to start urination, and the urine may come in weak, dribbling fashion.
4. Not uncommonly, there is some bleeding associated with cystitis. It is seldom more than enough to color the urine in an obvious fashion and is sometimes mistaken for vaginal bleeding.
Treatment. Fortunately, these distressing symptoms will generally respond within a day or so to the administration of antibiotic or sulfa drugs. In fact, the symptoms often improve markedly, even though some pus and bacteria can still be found in the urine. Cystitis is generally treated for a matter of some days, or even longer; the urine should be checked, not only when treatment is discontinued but also at some intervals thereafter. The aim is to avoid any lurking, low-grade, or chronic infection which can go unnoticed but may serve as a source of reinfection and flare-up of cystitis later. Most cases of cystitis, if untreated, tend to get progressively worse. There is very often an ascending spread of the infection to the kidneys, at which point symptoms such as chills and fever often occur.