Cystitis is the inflammation of the bladder usually caused by an infection. It is common in women to experience this at some point in their lives. Read the FAQ below for more information about what cystitis is, its causes and treatment options.

If you know you believe you require treatment for cystitis, choose a treatment listed below and start your free online consultation. One of our GMC registered doctors will instantly review your requirements.  

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What is cystitis?

Is a common infection that affects the urinary bladder. Cystitis is part of the broader category of infections affecting the urinary tract and is often referred to as a urinary tract infection (UTI).

UTI’s will affect most women atleast once during their lifetime. It is more common in females because they have shorter urethras compared to males.

Furthermore, the uretha in females is located closer to the anus which means gut bacteria can migrate more easily into the female urinary bladder.

Some important points:

  • Sufferers can have repeated bouts of infections
  • Pregnant women are at higher risk
  • Post menopausal women are at higher risk
  • Sexually active women are at higher risk

Often cystitis is mild lasting a few days and the symptoms can resolve without antibiotic treatment. Persistent or troublesome symptoms will require antibiotics.  

Cystitis in men Is uncommon, it is recommended that you visit your own doctor in such cases as there could be an underlying illness such as prostate enlargement and diabetes amongst others.

Types of cystitis


The most common bacteria causing infection of the urinary bladder (cystitis) is e.coli. They mostly are transferred from the anus (gut bacteria). Contributing factors and causes include:   

The short female urethra and close proximity to the anus predisposes to bacterial transfer to the urinary passage. 

Tight undergarments can spread bacteria to the urinary passage. Diabetes: High sugar in the urine allows bacteria to thrive within the bladder and urinary passage.  

3.Residual urine in bladder
Some people who cannot fully empty their bladder are more prone to infections to stagnant urine within the bladder. 

4.Severe dehydration
Lack of fluid passing through the kidneys and urinary tract means the bladder is not emptied regularly, stagnant urine predisposes to infection. 

Tampon users have been reported to have a higher rate of urinary infections. 

Non-infectious causes  

1.Medications - Certain medications cause irritation and inflammation of the urinary bladder whilst they are excreted, an example is cyclophosphamide.

2.Chemical allergies- Certain chemical can cause irritation and inflammation of the urinary bladder, this may make it prone to superadded bacterial infection. Examples of such chemical are soaps, deodorants and bath oils.

3.Autoimmune causes- Complex immune response. The body mistakenly attacks an individual’s own cells thinking they are ‘foreign’.

4.Radiation- Patients who have received radiotherapy to the pelvis region are prone to radiation cystitis.

Symptoms of cystitis?

There are usually a typical set of symptoms that help make the diagnosis of cystitis.   These include:  

  •        Pain when urinating (burning or stinging sensation)
  •        Foul smelling urine
  •        Discoloured urine (frothy, cloudy urine)
  •        Blood in urine (rosier or pinky coloured urine)
  •        Need to frequently urinate
  •        Abdominal pain
  •        Fever
  •        Body aches
  •        Nausea

Benefits of treating cystitis?

Not all cases of cystitis even if bacterial in nature require treatment. Most people have mild symptoms and recover in a few days. If the symptoms are persistent or troublesome it may be beneficial for you to start a course of antibiotics. 

How can I treat cystitis?   

Trimethoprim is a highly effective antibiotic for the treatment of cystitis. Antibiotics are particularly useful in treating troublesome symptoms and to hasten recovery. 

Adequate or even slightly excess hydration (with water) will keep your kidneys functioning optimally. They will produce plenty of urine which can help to flush out any infection. 

Preventing cystitis

A few practical points to help you deal with cystitis and reduce its recurrence:

1. Drink plenty of water (at least 1.5litres per day)
2. Cigarette smoking acts as an irritant to the bladder predisposing to infections, it has also been linked to bladder cancer.
3. Washing/bathing- showers are better than batch and avoid lotions or bath oils that may be causing irritation.
4. Clean loose undergarments will help to reduce infections.

What options to treatment in for cystitis?

AccessDoctor can offer antibacterial treatment for urinary tract infections. Start your online consultation now and one of our doctors will instantly assess your suitability. We offer next day delivery so you can start your treatment as soon as possible.