CYSTITIS: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Have you ever experienced that burning sensation when you’re urinating? The feeling that you’re like being razorblade. It is painful, it really burns and it even makes you cry. If you are one of the millions of people who suffer these symptoms, it would be best if you get an appointment with your most trusted physician to check if you have cystitis.

Cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder caused mainly by a bacterial infection commonly referred to as urinary tract infection. In real term what it actually means to the people who suffer with it is that it is like being razorblade as your peeing experience may feel like just a little sting, or it can feel like serious burning.

Cystitis can happen to anyone. However, it is more common in women. The reason why women suffer more than men is very basic. It is because a woman’s urethra is shorter, thus, it is much easier for those bacteria to come up and cause a problem.


Escherichia Coli (E. Coli) Bacteria

The urethra is a fibromuscular tube at the lower opening of the bladder and extends through the pelvic and urogenital diaphragms to the outside of the body. It mainly functions as a passage that allows urine to pass out of the body. A bacterial infection such as cystitis may cause pain or difficulty passing urine. The most common cause of acute cystitis is bacterial infections in many cases.

If we delve deeper into this, we will see that 95 per cent of the time, it is the same bacteria over and over again. It is what we call Escherichia coli (E. Coli) bacteria or commonly known as E.Coli. This is not, however, the famous one that kills people.

This type of E-Coli is in our guts all the time but the problem occurs when it crawls where it should not be or up to the tube which links our bladder to the outside world and causes infection to the bladder.


If you are suffering from Cystitis, chances are you are feeling any of the following signs and symptoms listed below:

  1. A burning or stinging sensation when urinating
  2. Strong, persistent urge to urinate
  3. Severe pelvic discomfort
  4. Frequently passing small amounts of urine
  5. Hematuria
  6. A low-grade fever may be present
  7. Strong, foul-smelling urine
  8. Discomfort or pressure in the lower abdomen


Lifestyle Issues

The changes you make in your lifestyle may help control symptoms of cystitis. In fact, studies show that there are some lifestyle issues that make it much more common.

For instance, people who get dehydrated and people who drink lots of alcohol and caffeine get to be more irritated in the bladder lining. Interestingly, sexual intercourse can also be a trigger as well. Most women who suffer from cystitis have actually been sexually active. This means that just a pure, active intercourse can mean that these bacteria get to have a little bit of a transport system.

Although it may not appear as romantic, it is advised for women to empty their bladder before the intercourse and afterwards and to always clean your genital and anal areas properly. It is also not right to use a spermicide or a diaphragm as a form of birth control. Staying hydrated or drinking plenty of water also helps in getting rid of the urinary tract of bacteria.


Women after menopause are more susceptible to cystitis. The reason for this is because the lining of the urethra can shrink during the menopausal period, resulting in the thinning of the lining, the vaginal area as well as all of the tissues in the genital area.

There’s a change in the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina also that can allow potentially harmful bacteria to become more common, making the urethra more vulnerable to bacteria, hence, to infection which could spread into the bladder.


High sugar levels in your urine provide an inviting environment for bacteria to multiply. If you’re diagnosed with diabetes, there’s a bigger chance that you may develop cystitis as the bacteria that gather up your bladder are likely to cause cystitis.

For cases like these, it is recommended to schedule with your periodic urinalysis and/or bacterial cultures to keep the problem from happening or recurring. 


In ruling out cystitis, your doctor will first determine other conditions that cause similar signs and symptoms, such as urinary tract infections, kidney stones, vaginal infections, and cancer. Your doctor will first perform a physical exam and ask about your symptoms.

Your doctor will also conduct some tests such as urine sample, cystoscopy and an ultrasound or CT scan of the pelvis. He/She may also use a bladder scanner as it can identify causes of urinary frequency, identify bladder distention, and bladder irritability. Many medical supplies provider, such as Emech Medical Supplies, sell highly effective and efficient bladder scanner that helps medical experts in detecting cystitis.


If you experience any of the signs and symptoms of cystitis that are provided in this article, it is best to immediately get a medical assistance. Your doctor may prepare several treatments that may alleviate the symptoms of bladder pain and urgency. Treatment options for relieving the symptoms of cystitis include: 


Your doctor will surely prescribe you to take antibiotics as they are a common treatment for bacterial cystitis. It is important to take all the medicine prescribed by your doctor as directed in order for you to start feeling better.

Interstitial cystitis, on the other hand, can also be treated through medication, but it varies on its cause. This type of cystitis is harder to treat as most doctors do not know its cause. Several remedies can be done in order to reduce the symptoms associated with it such as:

  1. Taking medicines that relax the bladder.
  2. Adapting a personalised bladder training prepared by your doctor or a change in the peeing habits.
  3. Avoiding spicy foods, food high in potassium.
  4. Avoiding drinking alcohol, caffeine, smoking cigarettes.


In some extreme cases, surgery may also be used in treating cystitis as it is believed to repair a structural issue and proven to be effective in implanting an electrical nerve stimulator to help relieve interstitial cystitis symptoms. However, your doctor will probably have this method in their mind in treating your bladder condition unless it is ascertained to be the treatment of last resort.