Magazine 15 June 2021

Predisposing factors of cystitis

  1. Six predisposing factors of cystitis
  2. How to control the predisposing factors of cystitis?

The predisposing factors of cystitis are all those elements that lay the basis for arriving at an episode of cystitis “easier”.

I’ll give you news, in fact: cystitis doesn’t come by accident.
Hot water discovery? Probably so!

But, are you sure you know just about everything that can hide behind cystitis (especially one that won’t stop coming back)? Could you define how exposed you are to the risk of developing cystitis?

Friend, let’s dwell on what can predispose you to have cystitis and figure out together what can be worked on and what, alas, must be kept as is!

If you already know everything and need even more in-depth information, drop by and talk to me directly to clear up your doubts!


Six predisposing factors of cystitis

What is the point of knowing the predisposing factors for cystitis?

Do you know when you’re facing a trip to a destination you’ve never been to?
The first thing you do is figure out the exact route: the best and, perhaps, least-traveled route.


Well, it’s kind of the same thing with cystitis predisposing factors: they’re that map that allows you to decide the best path for everything to go smoothly.

Knowing them is always better than traveling without really knowing the direction and if you will ever get to the endpoint 😉

Here are the six predisposing factors of cystitis that are important to know:

1 – Intestinal factors

The gut is always a big player when it comes to health.

The intestine is inhabited by a set of microorganisms (the so-called microbiota) that work for us: they help us digest food, produce B vitamins (essential for our health), have enzymes that allow us to produce and metabolize hormones, and much more.

The moment there is an alteration in the health of the intestines, it can lead to:

  • Alterations in the speed of transit (with alternating constipation and diarrhea) and the development of irritable bowel syndrome.
  • The development of a state of inflammation of the wall of the intestine. Inflammation alters the ability of the wall to allow only nutrients to pass out of the intestine(selective permeability). As a result, even bacteria, which are normally kept inside the intestine, have the green light towards other organs of our body, such as the bladder (where they can trigger, in fact, cystitis).

2 – Vaginal and hormonal factors

The vagina is our first defense barrier against unwanted guests from outside.

The vaginal environment’s defenses(lactobacilli) and acidic pH normally thwart bacteria and other pathogens in the genital area that try to colonize our vagina.

Guess what happens if the balance of our defenses breaks down?
And what happens if our vaginal pH is not suitable to defend us from pathogens?
Or again, guess what can happen if we’re in the throes of a vaginal infection?

Well, yes, this first defensive barrier becomes weaker, making us more vulnerable to the passage of bacteria to the bladder.

Changes in the pH and the balance of the vaginal bacterial flora also occur due to hormones. When we face particular changes, such as menopause, which bring a drastic reduction in the level of hormones (especially estrogen), we become more susceptible to the development of episodes of cystitis.

3 – Microbial factors and pathogenic biofilm

Bio… what?

Don’t worry, I’ll try to keep it clear and simple!

Think of lots of bacteria gathered together on a surface and covered by a film that protects them.
That film is a pathogenic biofilm.

What’s wrong with that?

Pathogenic biofilm causes 80% of bacterial infections that develop in our bodies.

The bladder and vaginal walls can be the breeding ground for pathogenic biofilm development: a few bacteria can multiply and self-produce biofilm. The biofilm grows over time, and the bacterial population within it becomes stronger and stronger.

In the deepest layer of the biofilm, there are some so-called “almost dormant” cells. These cells exchange bits of DNA that contain useful information to resist the action of antibiotics (which is why antibiotics can become ineffective as you take them).

Pathogenic biofilm can slowly cause infection in host organs (such as the bladder), with mild but persistent or chronic symptoms.

A big problem with biofilm is that as long as all the bacteria are protected, urine culture might detect an absence of bacteria, even though you feel clear symptoms of cystitis.

The biofilm hosts more types of bacteria: have you ever recovered from cystitis caused by a bacterium and come back to have it shortly after because of a different bacterium? That explains why!

4 – Contracted pelvic floor

The pelvic floor is the set of muscles that surround the pelvic area.
These muscles may present a contraction.

Contraction can cause:

  • Constipation.
  • Pain in intercourse due to restriction of vaginal entry.

This contraction that is the main predisposing factor for cystitis, which occurs 24-48 after sexual intercourse.

5 – Improper nutrition

A diet high in excess sugar triples the chance of developing recurrent cystitis (and even vaginitis), particularly if you are familiar with diabetes.

6 – Female anatomy

You will have heard it many times: in women, the proximity between the anus and the urethra (the duct from which urine comes out) and the fact that the urethra is short (3-5 cm) are the predisposing factors “par excellence” of cystitis.


How to control the predisposing factors of cystitis?

The part that interests us most: how to keep these predisposing factors at bay and hinder cystitis?

Here are five rules to keep in mind:

  1. Please pay attention to your gut: we help our gut maintain or recreate a balanced microbiota with the help of specific probiotics.
    Prebiotics are also very important: the nourishment that feeds our “good” bacteria. An example? Fiber-rich foods.
    If you suffer from persistent intestinal problems, investigate further with the support of a gastroenterologist.
  2. Relax your pelvic floor if it is contracted: with the help of a midwife or physiotherapist who specialises in pelvic floor muscle training, you can assess the current state of your pelvic muscles. I advise you not to underestimate this option, especially if you suffer from cystitis after intercourse.
  3. If you have particular hormonal problems ask your gynecologist for help and consider a specific therapy to restore the correct level of estrogen.
  4. Keep your weight in the normal range and reduce sugar consumption: eliminate or severely limit the use of sugars such as glucose and sucrose. Prefer fructose, in moderate amounts (a teaspoon of honey, for example, will sweeten your drinks).
    If you can’t give up sugary fruits or sweets, always consume them after a protein meal and never eat them only to avoid blood sugar spikes.
  5. Act on pathogenic biofilms with the use of n-acetylcysteine, an ingredient capable of dissolving them.

Don’t go crazy: you don’t have to pay attention to every little detail or that all the predisposing factors for cystitis are present in your particular case!

If you would like to understand better what factors might be a dangerous element in YOUR case, please tell me more about your experience with cystitis 😊


I hug you,


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