The difference between cystitis and UTI can be difficult to understand, and these bladder conditions are often confused. Interstitial cystitis refers to inflammation of the bladder wall, while a urinary tract infection is caused when bacteria enters the bladder. Because IC and UTI share many of the same symptoms, these conditions can be misdiagnosed and may be inappropriately treated.Here's how to tell the difference between UTI and interstitial cystitis.
The primary distinction in interstitial cystitis vs UTI is the cause of these conditions. IC is usually related to ruptured blood vessels on the bladder wall, a variant known as non-ulcerative IC. Fewer than 10 percent of IC cases are ulcerative, caused by Hunner's ulcers that affect the bladder walls. This chronic condition is part of a collection of symptoms known as painful bladder syndrome. While the exact cause of IC is unknown, it is likely related to a bladder defect, allergens or genetics.
A UTI is caused when bacteria enters the urinary tract. This is typically related to contamination with E. coli transferred from the GI tract because of its proximity to the urethra. Location While IC only affects the bladder, specifically the bladder walls, a UTI can arise in any part of the urinary tract. This includes not only the bladder but also the ureters, kidneys and urethra. Although some types of cystitis are linked to a UTI that affects the bladder, this is not the case with IC.
Symptoms UTI is characterized by:
Is cystitis a UTI?
Not usually for this type of cystitis, although infections do lead to inflammation. But if a UTI occurs in a person who also has IC, IC symptoms tend to get worse.
Women are more likely to develop a UTI than men. That's because the naturally shorter female urethra makes it easier for external bacteria to enter.
Other risk factors include:
Most people with IC are diagnosed after age 30. Treatment UTI can usually be successfully treated with an antibiotic. Those who are prone to infections can take a daily pill for ongoing UTI prevention.
Treatment of IC is more complex. Some common remedies include:
Uqora’s products aren't made with cranberry, and they aren't antibiotics. At Uqora, we use unique ingredients found in nature to develop products that work. Our drink mix will flush out bacteria introduced during specific activities, like sex or exercise.
"I suffered from CHRONIC UTIs and have had some pretty serious repercussions from taking mass amounts of antibiotics. I have not had a UTI since I started taking uqora. I drink it after things that are my triggers (sex in particular) and it stops it in it’s tracks!"
Lacey, Uqora customer