Non-Infectious Cystitis

Non-Infectious Cystitis

Kidney & Bladder Health
Contributed byMaulik P. Purohit MD MPHSep 08, 2020

What are the other Names for this Condition? (Also known as/Synonyms)

  • Abacterial Cystitis
  • Chemical Cystitis
  • Radiation Cystitis

What is Non-Infectious Cystitis? (Definition/Background Information)

  • Urinary bladder inflammation may be caused by a variety of factors that may be infectious or non-infectious. When inflammation of the bladder is not caused by an infection, the condition is termed as Non-Infectious Cystitis
  • The exact cause of Non-Infectious Cystitis is unknown, but the condition is more commonly observed in women than men
  • Some of the possible risk factors include the use of sprays, bubble baths, some contraception methods, certain chemotherapy medications, and radiation therapy to the pelvic region
  • The signs and symptoms of Non-Infectious Cystitis are frequent and urgent urination, lower abdominal and back pain, and pain during sexual intercourse
  • Non-Infectious Cystitis is generally treated with medications; very rarely, surgery may be performed. The prognosis of the condition is very good with appropriate treatment therapy

Who gets Non-Infectious Cystitis? (Age and Sex Distribution)

  • Non-Infectious Cystitis may affect any individual; though, the condition is more common in women than men
  • Women in their child-bearing age are more susceptible
  • The condition is observed worldwide; all racial and ethnic groups are affected

What are the Risk Factors of Non-Infectious Cystitis? (Predisposing Factors)

Following are the risk factors associated with Non-Infectious Cystitis:

  • Bubble bath: A bath with water to which perfumes, powdered crystals, or certain liquid are added to create a foam
  • Use of certain feminine sprays
  • Spermicidal jellies, which are over-the-counter contraceptives used for birth control
  • Excessive consumption of certain foods such as tomatoes, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, chocolate, and alcohol may trigger Non-Infectious Cystitis
  • Undergoing radiation therapy to the pelvis area
  • Some chemotherapy medications
  • A family history of recurrent bladder infections

It is important to note that having a risk factor does not mean that one will get the condition. A risk factor increases one's chances of getting a condition compared to an individual without the risk factors. Some risk factors are more important than others.

Also, not having a risk factor does not mean that an individual will not get the condition. It is always important to discuss the effect of risk factors with your healthcare provider.

What are the Causes of Non-Infectious Cystitis? (Etiology)

The precise cause of Non-Infectious Cystitis is yet to be identified. But it may be due to radiation effects, various chemicals, allergic reactions (hypersensitivity), or autoimmune conditions.

The following factors are thought to trigger the condition:

  • Bubble baths
  • Some feminine sprays
  • Sanitary napkins
  • Some over-the-counter contraceptives used for birth control
  • Radiation therapy for cancer in the pelvis region
  • Certain chemotherapy drugs
  • Family history of recurrent infections affecting the bladder

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Non-Infectious Cystitis?

The signs and symptoms of Non-Infectious Cystitis may include:

  • Pain during urination
  • Cloudy color of the urine; blood in urine
  • Bad or strong odor of urine
  • Pressure experienced in the lower part of the pelvis
  • Repeated and constant urge to urinate; compelling urge to urinate
  • Difficulty in holding back and controlling the urge to urinate
  • Sleep disturbances because of urinary urgency
  • Severe pain experienced during sexual intercourse
  • Pain and discomfort in the genital area
  • Lower abdominal or back pain
  • Tiredness, low level of energy

How is Non-Infectious Cystitis Diagnosed?

The diagnostic tests for confirming the presence of Non-Infectious Cystitis may involve:

  • Complete evaluation of medical history along-with thorough physical exam
  • Urinalysis, which is done to check for:
    • Red blood cells
    • White blood cells

Urine culture - to check for the presence of bacteria

  • Cystoscopy: Special instruments are used to look and study the insides of the bladder, which is performed when the affected individuals exhibit the following symptoms:

    • Symptoms relating to radiation therapy or chemotherapy
    • Symptoms that do not get better even after continuous treatment
    • The presence of blood in urine is detected   

Urine is examined under a microscope to check for the presence of cancerous cells, especially in older individuals

Many clinical conditions may have similar signs and symptoms. Your healthcare provider may perform additional tests to rule out other clinical conditions to arrive at a definitive diagnosis.

What are the possible Complications of Non-Infectious Cystitis?

The possible complications which can arise due to Non-Infectious Cystitis include:

  • Ulcerations in the bladder walls
  • Urethral strictures: Abnormal narrowing of the urethra
  • Decreased capacity of the bladder

How is Non-Infectious Cystitis Treated?

The treatment of Non-Infectious Cystitis may involve the following procedures:

  • Medications:
    • Anticholinergic drugs to help the urinary bladder contract
    • Muscle relaxants to decrease or minimize the strong urge to urinate constantly
    • Pain can be treated with the help of pyridium  

Surgery: In rare cases, a surgery may be performed with severe urinary retention and presence of too much blood in urine.

  • Certain homemade or self-care remedies that may be followed include:
    • Avoiding fluids such as alcohol, citrus juice, and caffeine
    • Bladder training exercises to help in controlling the urinating schedule    
    • Kegal exercises help in strengthening the pelvic muscles and relieve patients from the symptoms of urination urgency

How can Non-Infectious Cystitis be Prevented?

The preventive measures for Non-Infectious Cystitis include controlling or avoiding the factors that cause bladder irritation, and these include:

  • Bubble baths
  • Feminine hygiene sprays
  • Tampons
  • Spermicidal jellies
  • Avoiding certain food items or beverages

What is the Prognosis of Non-Infectious Cystitis? (Outcomes/Resolutions)

  • The prognosis of Non-Infectious Cystitis is very good with suitable treatment
  • Though Non-Infectious Cystitis can create a lot of uncomfortableness, the symptoms usually disappear over time without any serious complications being noted

Additional and Relevant Useful Information for Non-Infectious Cystitis:

The Cystitis and Overactive Bladder Foundation are carrying out several researches to discover new facts about the disease and to improve the diagnosis and treatment methods for the same.

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Maulik P. Purohit MD MPH picture
Approved by

Maulik P. Purohit MD MPH

Assistant Medical Director, Medical Editorial Board, DoveMed Team


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