Overview of Cystitis

Cystitis is a common urinary tract infection (UTI) that affects the bladder, which is a small sac-like organ in the pelvis that stores urine. Cystitis can be acute (sudden onset) or chronic (long-term). 


It is more common in women than in men, and it is estimated that up to 50% of women will experience cystitis at some point in their lives.

Signs and Symptoms of Cystitis

Cystitis signs and symptoms may include:

  • A persistent want to urinate
  • Burning sensation or pain when urinating 
  • Passing more frequent urine in small amounts 
  • Consistent pelvic discomfort 
  • Blood in urine 
  • Slight nagging pressure in your stomach region 
  • Funny smelling urine 
  • Cloudy foam-like appearance of urine 

Types of Cystitis

Causes of Cystitis

Cystitis is usually caused by bacteria, most commonly Escherichia coli (E. coli), which normally lives in the intestines. When the bacteria enter the urinary tract and start to multiply, they can cause an infection. 

The infection can lead to inflammation and irritation of the bladder, which can cause symptoms such as:

  • Pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen or pelvic area
  • A frequent urge to urinate
  • Pain or burning sensation when urinating
  • Blood in the urine
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
  • Feeling generally unwell or tired
  • Fever or chills (in more severe cases)

Acute cystitis is usually caused by a single episode of infection and typically resolves with antibiotic treatment. Chronic cystitis, on the other hand, is often caused by recurrent infections or other underlying medical conditions, such as bladder stones or an enlarged prostate in me


Risk Factors of Cystitis



There are several steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing cystitis, including:

Wiping from front to back after using the toilet to prevent bacteria from the anus from entering the urethra

  • Drinking plenty of water to help flush bacteria out of the bladder
  • Avoiding irritants such as perfumed soap or bubble baths that can irritate the urethra
  • Urinating before and after sexual intercourse to help flush bacteria out of the urethra
  • Using condoms reduces the risk of getting sexually transmitted infections.


Diagnosis of cystitis is typically made based on symptoms, a physical examination, and a urine culture to identify the specific bacteria causing the infection. Treatment for acute cystitis typically involves a short course of antibiotics, while treatment for chronic cystitis may involve longer-term antibiotic therapy, as well as measures to address any underlying conditions.

In addition to antibiotic therapy, there are several things individuals can do to prevent cystitis from developing or recurring, including:

  • Drinking plenty of water to flush out the urinary tract
  • Wiping from front to back after using the toilet to prevent bacteria from the anus from entering the urethra
  • Urinating immediately after sexual intercourse to help flush out any bacteria that may have entered the urinary tract
  • Avoiding irritants such as bubble baths or harsh soaps in the genital area
  • Using sanitary pads instead

If you suspect you have cystitis, your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history and may perform a physical examination. They may also recommend a urine test to check for bacteria or white blood cells in your urine, which can indicate an infection.

In some cases, your doctor may recommend further tests, such as a cystoscopy, to look inside your bladder and check for any abnormalities.

Treatment of Cystitis | When to Consult a Doctor

Cystitis is usually treated with antibiotics to kill the bacteria causing the infection. The type of antibiotic prescribed will depend on the severity of the infection and any other medical conditions you may have.

In conclusion, cystitis is a common urinary tract infection that affects the bladder. It is usually caused by bacteria and can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms. If you think you have cystitis, it is important to seek medical advice, as antibiotics are usually needed to treat the infection. By following some simple steps, such as drinking plenty of water and wiping from front to back after using the toilet, you can help reduce your risk of developing cystitis.

In addition to antibiotics, your urologist may recommend over-the-counter pain relief, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, to relieve any pain or discomfort.