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Cystitis is a very common condition. Half of all women will get it at least once in their life, and around 1 in 5 women who have had it before will get it again. Cystitis is usually caused by a bacterial infection in the bladder, leading to inflammation, and in most cases it can be very easily treated.

Symptoms of Cystitis

Cystitis can cause problems with peeing and make you feel unwell.

Symptoms of cystitis in adults

Cystitis in adults can cause:

  • Pain, burning or stinging when you pee
  • Needing to pee more often and urgently than normal
  • Feeling like you need to pee again soon after going to the toilet
  • Urine that's dark, cloudy or strong-smelling
  • Pain low down in your tummy
  • Feeling generally unwell, achy, sick and tired
  • Blood in your urine

In adults, Cystitis doesn't usually cause a high temperature (fever). If you have a temperature of 38C (100.4F) or above and pain in your lower back or sides, it may be a sign of a kidney infection.

Cystitis in Women

Cystitis means inflammation of the bladder. It is usually caused by a urine infection. Typical symptoms are pain when you pass urine, and passing urine frequently. You may also have pain in your lower tummy (abdomen), blood in your urine and a high temperature(fever)

Cystitis in Men

When men get cystitis, it is potentially more serious than it is for women. Male cystitis is more likely to be caused by another underlying condition, such as a prostate infection, cancer, an obstruction, or an enlarged prostate. In most cases of male cystitis, early treatment is effective, and the problem is solved.

Symptoms of cystitis in children

It can be difficult to tell whether a child has cystitis, because the symptoms can be vague and young children cannot easily communicate how they feel.

Possible symptoms of cystitis in young children may include:

  • A high temperature(fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
  • Weakness and tiredness
  • Irritability
  • Reduced appetite
  • Vomiting

Children with Cystitis can sometimes also have symptoms usually found in adults, such as pain when peeing, peeing more often than normal and pain in their tummy.

Causes of Cystitis

More troublesome symptoms of cystitis are most commonly caused by a bacterial infection. This can occur when bacteria travels from the anus up the urethra, reaching the bladder and causing an infection. The most common reasons for this are personal hygiene habits.

The initial cause of cystitis is the bladder becoming infected. Why the bladder has become infected could be the result of one or a number of factors. Sexual activity is the main cause of cystitis as it can be easy for bacteria to transfer and infect the wrong area. Sex related cystitis is often be referred to as "honeymoon cystitis". As well as sex, the following have been known to cause cystitis:

  • Personal hygiene
  • Tight synthetic underwear
  • Diabetes
  • Full bladder
  • Pregnancy and afterbirth
  • Sexually transmitted infections STIs (uncommon)
  • Certain parasites (uncommon)
  • Women who have catheters may also have an increased susceptibility

For interstitial cystitis, some causes are certain medication, soaps and scented products, diabetes, radiation therapy and an autoimmune system.

Cystitis Treatments

You can reduce your risk of cystitis by ensuring that you drink plenty of water and that you urinate when you need to, at least once every three hours. You may also want to avoid harsh vaginal cleansing products or the use of perfumed products that could irritate the urethra. After sex you should also try and urinate to remove any bacteria that may have ended up near the bladder.

There is no clinical proof for this, but some women find that drinking plenty of cranberry juice also makes an infection less likely. This may be the case because you are increasing the amount of fluids you are taking in and flushing out the urethra on a regular basis.

Treating cystitis at home

There are many effective home remedies which can help you get rid of cystitis. Even when home remedies don't suffice on their own they should be used to support an antibiotic treatment, such as MacroBid or Trimethoprim.

Using the right remedies for bladder infection can make a huge difference in curing the infection or preventing repeated bouts, especially in women who suffer from recurrent bladder infections.

  • Drinking lots of water.
  • Taking over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen and paracetamol.
  • Refraining from sex.
  • Soothing your discomfort with a hot water bottle.
  • Avoiding alcohol, fruit juice and caffeine.