Glossary: Cystitis

Here are definitions of medical terms related to cystitis.

Antibiotics: Medicines that kill bacteria or prevent them from growing.

Bacteria: Microscopic germs that can cause infection.

Bacterial infection: Infection caused by bacteria.

Biopsy: Removal of a small piece of tissue from the body to study under the microscope for any abnormality.

Bladder: The muscle-like sac that stores urine produced by the kidneys.

Catheter: A small flexible tube used to drain urine from the bladder.

Chlamydia: A sexually transmitted disease caused by certain types of germs.

Clean catch: A urine sample collected in the middle of urinating to avoid contaminating the sample with other body germs.

Congenital: A condition present at birth.

Cystocele: Hernia of the bladder in which the tissue weakens and causes the bladder to fall into the vagina.

Cystoscope: An instrument used to look inside the bladder.

Dipstick: A stick containing chemicals that, when dipped in urine, change color to indicate infection or the presence of other abnormalities.

Diverticula: Abnormal pouches inside a hollow organ such as the bladder.

E. coli: The strain of bacteria that usually causes cystitis.

Gonorrhea: A sexually transmitted disease.

Interstitial cystitis: A long-term, recurring bladder infection for which no cause can be found.

Intravenous pyelogram: An x-ray test that tracks the movement of a chemical substance as it collects in the kidneys and exits through the bladder. Also called an IVP test.

Kidneys: A pair of organs that rid the body of waste materials from the bloodstream.

Kidney stones: Rock-like substances that form in the kidneys of some people. They can cause blockage of the urinary tract, which in turn can cause cystitis.

Organisms: Microscopic forms of life, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Perineal area: The tissue area surrounding the opening of the bladder, vagina (in women) and rectum.

Perineum: See perineal area.

Prophylactic: An action that works to prevent disease recurrence, such as taking antibiotics before a cystitis attack.

Prostate: A muscular-like gland at the base of a man’s urethra.

Prostatitis: Inflammation of the prostate gland.

Pyelonephritis: Inflammation of the kidneys caused by bacterial infection.

Reye’s Syndrome: a serious complication in children following treatment with aspirin, usually after a viral infection. It may progress to coma and death.

Sterile: Free of germs.

Ultrasound: A test that uses sound waves to produce two-dimensional images of internal body organs and structures.

Ureters: Body tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder.

Urethra: Body tube that connects the bladder to the outside of the body. The tube acts like a drainpipe, allowing urine to run from the bladder to the outside of the body.

Urethritis: Inflammation of the urethra.

Urinary tract infections: Infections involving all or part of the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Often called UTIs.

Urologist: A doctor who specializes in diseases of the urinary tract.

Vagina: A woman’s birth canal.

Voiding cystourethrogram: An x-ray test taken as a person urinates. It tracks a chemical put into the bladder and can detect back-up of urine. Often called a VCUG test.

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