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Cystitis

Cystitis symptoms, causes and treatment available in the UK

Cystitis is an extremely common bladder infection in women caused by inflammation. It can also be called a urinary tract infection (UTI) and can appear in men, with treatment Trimethoprim available to treat both sexes. Whilst it very rarely causes any serious damage, the symptoms can be uncomfortable and many seek treatment to alleviate any pain and quicken recovery. One medication to use is Trimethoprim available after a consultation at OnlineClinic.

Dr Hilary Jones Dr Hilary Jones
OnlineClinic Medical Advisor

"Having a cystitis infection can be both painful and irritating. Fortunately OnlineClinic offers a prescription cystitis treatment that can prevent the bacteria from spreading."

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What is cystitis?

Cystitis is a urinary tract infection (UTI) that is common in women. In fact, 4 in 10 women will experience cystitis at least once in their lifetimes, with recurrent bouts frequent for many. Whilst rare, it can also appear in men, but luckily for both sexes, it is easily treatable and can be prevented as well. Trimethoprim is the only treatment we offer here that can treat both men and women.

Cystitis may also be referred to as a bladder infection and is the inflammation of the bladder and urethra. Doctors believe the infection is more common in women as the urethra is much shorter, making it easier for bacteria to reach the bladder.

There are certain triggers for cystitis, especially in sexually active women, therefore prevention can mean a significant reduction in bouts.

Cystitis can also appear in children. For more information regarding young people and UTIs, visit our informational page.

Cystitis causes

The causes of UTIs can vary depending on the gender and personal triggers. Medically speaking, cystitis is always caused by a bacterium that gets transferred to places it shouldn't be lurking. For example, cystitis is more common in women because the urethra passage is shorter making it easier for you to transfer bacteria from other areas like the anus. Usually this bacteria is harmless, but when transported, it can caused UTIs. It is possible that multiple causes could be resulting in bouts of cystitis, or just one aspect. Try to recognise what your triggers are, and put prevention techniques in place to avoid the condition in the future…

Possible causes in women

  • Having sex or having particularly vigorous sex
  • Wiping from back to front after using the toilet
  • If you use tampons
  • If you use a urinary catheter
  • If you use a diaphragm
  • Pregnancy or recent birth
  • The menopause
  • If you don't empty your bladder completely
  • A block in the urinary system
  • Related bladder or kidney conditions

Causes in men

  • Enlarged prostate
  • If you don't empty your bladder completely
  • A block in the urinary system
  • Related bladder or kidney conditions

Causes in men are far less, but do tend to revolve around more serious conditions such as cancer or a prostate infection so it's important for men to get any symptoms thoroughly checked out.

Cystitis symptoms

You may experience just one or a range of these symptoms:

  • Burning sensation when urinating
  • Blood in urine or dark cloudy urine
  • Pain in the abdomen or lower back
  • Frequent need to urinate, but only a small amount passed

The symptoms of cystitis can be similar to certain STIs such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea as well as other infections such as thrush, prostatitis or urethritis so if you're experiencing cystitis symptoms for the first time – or there are unusual signs you have never experienced before – then head to your doctor for further confirmation.

Treating cystitis

Whilst some may let the infection run its course, and for mild bouts this may only take a couple of days, many decide to get treatment to alleviate the symptoms and shorten the period of the infection. This could be due to painful symptoms or because you're uncomfortable. Any ache or pain can consume the mind, especially when working, so treatment offers a quick solution.

Antibiotics

Clinically proven tablets can be taken to relieve symptoms within days and cure the infection within a week. As antibiotics are fast acting, many men and women choose this option to get over the infection quick. This can save time and money purchasing over-the-counter products that may not have a strong enough effect.

Over-the-counter

If it is a light infection, you can pop to your pharmacy to see what over-the-counter options are available to you. For recurrent bouts, you may have a particular option, whether that's sachets or pills,that works well for you.

Painkillers

Traditional parcetomol and ibuprofen can alleviate symptoms until the worse of the infection passes.

Drinking plenty of fluids

Cranberry juice is associated with treating cystitis however there are no studies that do prove that this particular drink helps treat cystitis, although it can help prevent. Drinking water can help reduce infection time for some.

Refrain from sex

Whilst treating cystitis, it is recommended not to have sex until the infection is completely cleared up.

Resting

For those with abdominal pain, back pain or particularly disruptive symptoms, resting whenever possible can help relieve cystitis. Other tactics such as a hot water bottle can soothe pains.

If symptoms are severe, or you're experiencing them for the first time, you must visit your doctor.

Preventing cystitis

Prevention techniques can stop cystitis from occurring completely, or decrease the number of bouts if you're prone to chronic cystitis. Prevention is much easier in women; however if you're a man with cystitis, do visit your doctor. Depending on your specific triggers, preventing cystitis will differ:

  • Try different contraception – if you use a diaphragm, try changing to a pill, ring or patch version
  • Remove the catheter
  • Personal hygiene – it's natural to have harmless bacteria, however drying from front to back after the toilet could help
  • Urinate after sex – this is known to be the most effective way to reduce or eliminate cystitis in women
  • Less vigorous sex – don't be afraid to speak up if sex is too rough
  • Avoid tampons – consider pads or the mooncup
  • During pregnancy – keep a supply of cystitis treatment on hand during pregnancy and just after

Buying treatment

Cystitis is so common and obtaining treatment can make a huge difference to your week. To avoid symptoms from escalating further, you can order proven antibiotics to cure the infection within a week instead of waiting for it to past or get worse.

Cystitis is best treated as soon as possible, so OnlineClinic offer free next day delivery for women and men who have a UTI. Treatment comes in the form of clinically proven antibiotics Trimethoprim in 100mg and 200mg dosages. 100mg is usually recommended and it is always advised to completely finish the course.

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