cysitusWhat is Cystitis?

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.

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Symptoms of Cystitis
Cystitis symptoms are fairly easy to recognize – a frequent and urgent need to urinate, with pain or stinging when you go, and possibly traces of blood in the urine.


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
The most common cause of cystitis is a urinary tract infection. These are usually more common in women because their urethras, which carry urine from the bladder, open much closer to the anus (bottom) and are shorter than men’s, making it easier for bacteria to get into the bladder.


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.

Diagnosing Cystitis
Whilst the symptoms are a good indication, a sample of your urine can confirm the diagnosis. The first step is to test a sample with a chemically treated strip of paper that will react to certain bacteria by changing colour. A sample may be sent to a laboratory for further testing if another cause is suspected, such as a kidney infection, diabetes, thrush (candida) or a sexually transmitted infection.


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.

Treating Cystitis
Because the symptoms of cystitis could also be caused by other conditions, women should see a doctor the first time they suspect they have cystitis and if it recurs more than three times in a year. Children and men should always see a doctor if they have the symptoms of cystitis.


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

Preventing Cystitis
Complete prevention is not possible, but you can try to avoid cystitis with some of the following useful information. Preventing Cystitis

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Visit the NHS website for more info


Read More About Female Urology problems