Cystitis is inflammation of the bladder, usually caused by an infection, or in some cases by irritation or damage, such as during sex.
Cystitis in Women
Cystitis is more common in women, because the female anatomy allows bacteria to reach the bladder more easily than male anatomy.
Women are particularly likely to have cystitis whilst they are sexually active, pregnant or post-menopausal, which means that nearly all women experience this painful condition at least once, with around one in five suffering a recurring cystitis problem.
Symptoms of Cystitis
Occasionally, there may be abdominal pain or fever, and if the frequent visits to the toilet are coupled with a reluctance to drink, sufferers can feel nauseous, weak and lethargic through dehydration.
Causes of Cystitis
Cystitis can also be a symptom of inflammation of the urethra itself, a yeast infection called vaginal thrush (or Candida), a kidney infection, sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhoea or Chlamydia, urethral syndrome in women or, in men, inflammation of the prostate gland.
If recurrent cystitis fails to respond to antibiotics, and a urine test doesn’t help, you may need to have other tests, such as X-ray, an ultrasound scan, or a cystoscopy – where a tiny fibre-optic camera is used to examine your bladder.
These are all procedures that Somerset Urology Associates are happy to carry out for you.
If you have had cystitis before, recognise the symptoms and have a mild bout, you can treat your cystitis at home by drinking plenty of water (6-8 glasses a day) and taking over-the-counter painkillers. It should clear up between 4-9 days. Avoid alcohol and don’t have sex, which can make cystitis worse.
Some people drink cranberry juice or take urine alkanising agents, such as sodium bicarbonate or potassium citrate, to help relieve the pain when urinating. However, there is currently no clinical evidence for their success.
Severe cystitis, especially if it causes fever, abdominal pain or there’s blood in your urine, may require one or more courses of antibiotics. Read more on the NHS Website