Women’s Health– Cystitis
What is Cystitis?
Cystitis is inflammation of the bladder usually caused by a bladder infection, bladder infections can be caused by:
- bacteria being transferred from the anus to the urethra – for example, during sex
- damage or irritation around the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body)
- not emptying your bladder properly – for example, because of pregnancy or an enlarged prostate
Symptoms of Cystitis
- pain in the bladder
- pain or stinging when you urinate
- an urgent and often need to urinate
Symptoms can also be caused by other conditions so should be checked out by a doctor or your GP.
Cystitis is usually easily treated and should be dealt with by a doctor if it is the first time you show any of these symptoms.
Some of the symptoms of Cystitis are also symptoms of STI’s and should be checked out by a doctor.
These infections can include:
- Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia
- Thrush (candida yeast infection)
- inflammation of the urethra
Cystitis in Women
Cystitis is more common in women because women have a short urethra. The urethra’s is also very close to the anus (bottom), which makes it easy for bacteria from the anus to reach the bladder and cause an infection.
Almost all women will have cystitis at least once in their lifetime. Around one in five women who have had cystitis will get it again (known as recurrent cystitis). Cystitis can occur at any age, but it is more common in:
- pregnant women
- sexually active women
- women who have been through the menopause
But Cystitis can also happen in men, it is less common but it can happen
It can be more serious in men because it could be caused by:
- an underlying bladder or prostate infection, such as prostatitis
- an obstruction in the urinary tract, such as a tumour or an enlarged prostate (the gland located between the penis and the bladder)
Male cystitis is not usually serious if treated quickly, but it can be very painful. Men who have unprotected anal sex are slightly more at risk of cystitis.
Mild cystitis usually clears up within a few days. You can treat it at home by drinking plenty of water, cranberry juice and taking painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. It can also help if you do not have sex until it’s cleared up as sex can make cystitis worse.
Antibiotics can also be used to treat cystitis when the symptoms are painful.
Common antibiotics prescribed :