ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Cystitis (Bladder Infection) Symptoms and Treatment

Updated on December 31, 2016

Uncomfortable, embarrassing and common - cystitis (a bladder infection) is all three to many women. Cystitis is one of the most common conditions seen by general practitioners, but some women can barely get away from the toilet for long enough to visit the surgery!

The symptoms of burning pain on passing urine, pain in the pelvis, and the desire to pass urine every 10 minutes that are associated with cystitis are not limited entirely to women, but less than 10% of cases occur in men because the longer length of their urethra (the tube leading from the bladder to the outside) gives them considerable protection from infection. When it does affect males, it is often more serious and requires more aggressive investigation and treatment. Most women will have at least one bladder infection in their lives, and some have repeated attacks that require constant medication to prevent them.

Cystitis is due to bacteria that can reproduce rapidly in the warm urine. The bacteria can enter the bladder in one of two ways — by coming up the urethra from outside the body, or coming through the bloodstream to the kidneys and then the bladder. Entry of the bacteria from the outside is far more common, and is often due to sex. Because the urethra is very short in women (as little as 1 cm), bacteria on the skin can easily pass into the bladder with the massaging that area receives during intercourse. Passing urine immediately after sex can help to remove any bacteria that may have entered.

Slackness of the muscle ring that controls the release of urine from the bladder can also allow bacteria to enter the bladder. This damage may be caused by childbirth or prolapse of the womb, and may eventually cause incontinence with a cough or laugh. There are physiotherapy and surgical procedures available to correct this problem.

When a patient arrives at a surgery with symptoms of cystitis, a urine sample will be checked for infection. A plastic strip covered with spots that are sensitive to different constituents of the urine is used for this purpose. This can give a quite accurate picture of what is happening to cause the patient's symptoms. The sample is then sent to a laboratory for further testing to find out which bacteria are causing the infection, and which antibiotics will kill them. These tests may take a few days to complete, so the patient is usually started on an appropriate antibiotic immediately, which can be changed at a later date if the tests results indicate that this is necessary. Other medications (in the form of a powder that makes a fizzy drink) to alkalise the urine and remove the unpleasant burning sensation are also prescribed. Drinking extra fluid will help wash the infection out of the kidneys and bladder. If several infections occur, further investigations such as X-rays of the bladder and kidneys are performed, to exclude some of the rarer more serious causes of recurrent cystitis.

In most patients, cystitis is a considerable nuisance, not a serious disease, which can be easily and effectively treated provided the patient presents to a doctor at the first sign of trouble.

Please Note:

  • The information provided on this page is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a registered physician or other healthcare professional.

  • The content of this page is intended only to provide a summary and general overview. Do not use this information to disregard medical advice, nor to delay seeking medical advice.

  • Be sure to consult with your doctor for a professional diagnosis and appropriate medical treatment.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)