Cystitis is inflammation of the bladder, usually caused by a bladder infection. It ‘s a common type of urinary tract infection ( UTI ), particularly in women, and is normally more of a nuisance than a cause for serious concern. Mild cases will often get better by themselves within a few days. But some people experience episodes of cystitis frequently and may need regular or long-run treatment.

Reading: Cystitis

There ‘s besides a chance that cystitis could lead to a more unplayful kidney infection in some cases, so it ‘s important to seek medical advice if your symptoms do not improve .

Signs and symptoms of cystitis

The main symptoms of cystitis include :

  • pain, burning or stinging when you pee
  • needing to pee more often and urgently than normal
  • urine that’s dark, cloudy or strong smelling
  • pain low down in your tummy
  • feeling generally unwell, achy, sick and tired

possible symptoms in young children include :

  • pain in their tummy
  • needing to pee urgently or more often
  • a high temperature (fever) of 38C or above
  • weakness or irritability
  • reduced appetite and vomiting

When to see a GP

Women do not necessarily need to see a GP if they have cystitis, as mild cases often get better without treatment. Try some self-help measures or ask a pharmacist for advice. See a GP if :

  • you’re not sure whether you have cystitis
  • your symptoms do not start to improve within 3 days
  • you get cystitis frequently
  • you have severe symptoms, such as blood in your urine, a fever or pain in your side
  • you’re pregnant and have symptoms of cystitis
  • you’re a man and have symptoms of cystitis
  • your child has symptoms of cystitis

A GP should be able to diagnose cystitis by asking about your symptoms. They may test a sample of your urine for bacteria to help confirm the diagnosis .

What causes cystitis?

Most cases are thought to occur when bacteria that live harmlessly in the intestine or on the skin become into the bladder through the tube that carries urine out of your body ( urethra ). It ‘s not always authorize how this happens. But some things can increase your hazard of getting it, including :

  • having sex
  • wiping your bottom from back to front after going to the toilet
  • having a thin tube inserted into the urethra to drain the bladder (urinary catheter)
  • being younger than 1 or older than 75
  • being pregnant
  • using a diaphragm for contraception
  • having diabetes
  • having a weakened immune system

Women may get cystitis more often than men because their bottomland ( anus ) is closer to their urethra and their urethra is a lot shorter, which means bacteria may be able to get into the bladder more easily .

How you can treat cystitis yourself

If you have been having meek symptoms for less than 3 days or you have had cystitis before and do not feel you need to see a GP, you may want to treat your symptoms at home or ask a pharmacist for advice. Until you ‘re feeling better, it may help to :

  • take paracetamol or ibuprofen
  • drink plenty of water
  • hold a hot water bottle on your tummy or between your thighs
  • avoid having sex
  • pee frequently
  • wipe from front to back when you go to the toilet
  • gently wash around your genitals with a skin-sensitive soap

Some people believe that cranberry drinks and products that reduce the sourness of their urine ( such as sodium bicarbonate or potassium citrate ) will help.

But there ‘s a lack of evidence to suggest they ‘re effective .

Treatments for cystitis from a GP

If you see a GP and they diagnose you with cystitis, you ‘ll normally be prescribed a run of antibiotics to treat the infection. These should start to have an impression within a day or 2. If you keep getting cystitis, a GP may give you an antibiotic prescription drug to take to a drugstore whenever you develop symptoms, without needing to see a repair first. Your GP can besides prescribe a low venereal disease of antibiotics for you to take endlessly over respective months .

Preventing cystitis

If you get cystitis frequently, there are some things you can try that may stop it coming back. But it ‘s not clean how effective most of these measures are. These measures include :

  • not using perfumed bubble bath, soap or talcum powder around your genitals (use plain unperfumed varieties)
  • having a shower, rather than a bath (this avoids exposing your genitals to the chemicals in your cleaning products for too long)
  • going to the toilet as soon as you need to pee and always emptying your bladder fully
  • staying well hydrated (drinking plenty of fluids may help to stop bacteria multiplying in your bladder)
  • always wiping your bottom from front to back when you go to the toilet
  • emptying your bladder as soon as possible after having sex
  • not using a diaphragm for contraception (you may wish to use another method of contraception instead)
  • wearing underwear made from cotton, rather than synthetic material, such as nylon, and not wearing tight jeans and trousers

Drinking cranberry juice has traditionally been recommended as a way of reducing your chances of getting cystitis. But large studies have suggested it does not make a meaning remainder .

Interstitial cystitis

If you have long-run or frequent pelvic trouble and problems peeing, you may have a stipulate called interstitial cystitis. This is a ailing sympathize bladder condition that by and large affects middle-aged women. Unlike regular cystitis, there ‘s no obvious infection in the bladder and antibiotics do not help. But a doctor may be able to recommend a issue of other treatments to reduce your symptoms.

Find out more about interstitial cystitis

page last reviewed : 09 August 2018
Next review due : 09 August 2021

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Category : Health

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