Cystitis is when a bacterial infection leads to an inflammation of the bladder lining which causes painful urination, the need to urinate more frequently and abdominal pain. The urine may also appear cloudy, to contain traces of blood and may have a strong, unusual odour.
It can affect both men and women, but is much more common in women; especially those that are sexually active, pregnant or those that have gone through the menopause. It is fairly common for most women to have had at least one occurrence of cystitis in their twenties but if you have never experienced these symptoms before, you should visit your GP to ensure that it is cystitis you are suffering from.
Mild cystitis can usually be cleared through your system in a few days by staying hydrated, drinking plenty of fluids and treating the pain symptoms with over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol; avoiding alcohol and acidic juices. However, more severe cystitis requires treatment with antibiotics and the symptoms generally improve within a day or so.
We can offer the antibiotic Macrobid(Nitrofurantoin) or Trimethoprim, if appropriate, to treat cystitis but this treatment is only for women.
Men with cystitis should consult their GP as it may indicate an underlying bladder or prostate infection or even an obstruction of the urinary tract.