Cystitis is a common lower urinary tract infection (UTI). It is inflammation of the bladder or urethra and is more common in women than men. It is usually mild and resolves within 5 to 7 days without treatment with antibiotics. Cystitis can be extremely painful and uncomfortable, therefore our pharmacists would highly recommend that actions are taken to address the infection as soon as it presents itself.
There are a range of over the counter remedies available from your Haven pharmacy to help treat cystitis. Please speak to one of our trained advisers or ask your Haven pharmacist for advice on which treatment is best suited to your needs. Some of our pharmacies can carry out a urinary test which could save you time and money at your GP. Contact your local Haven for more details.
What are the Causes of Cystitis?
The most common cause of cystitis is bacterial infection. If bacteria reach the bladder, they multiply and irritate the bladder causing the symptoms of cystitis. A bacterial infection can be caused by not emptying the bladder completely. This is particularly common during pregnancy.
Less commonly, cystitis may occur as a reaction to certain drugs, radiation therapy or potential irritants, such as feminine hygiene spray, spermicidal jellies or long-term use of a catheter.
What are the Signs and Symptoms?
Pain, burning or stinging sensation on urination
- A strong and persistent urge to urinate
- Dark, cloudy, strong smelling urine
- Pain low down in your tummy
- Feeling a little unwell
These symptoms can be easily confused with other conditions so if it is the first time you are experiencing them, it may be advisable to consult with your doctor to confirm the diagnosis.
Seek advice from your Haven pharmacist in the following situations:
- You are unsure if you have cystitis or not
- Blood in the urine
- Severe symptoms such as pain in your side
- No improvement within a few days
- Frequently recurring cystitis
- You are a man or a pregnant woman with symptoms of cystitis
The symptoms of mild cystitis usually clear up within a week without treatment. Drinking lots of water can help you to flush the infection out of your system.
Manage the Condition:
- Take over the counter pain medication to ease the discomfort (ask your Haven Pharmacist first)
- Drink plenty of water; 6 to 8 glasses per day might help.
- Use a hot water bottle to ease pain and help inflammation.
- Do not have sexual intercourse until cystitis has cleared up as this can make symptoms worse.
- Do not use perfumed soap, gels or talcum powder around your intimate area.
- Have a shower rather than a bath.
- Go to the toilet as soon as you need to urinate and ensure your bladder is completely emptied.
- Always wipe your bottom from front to back after going to the toilet.
- Stay well hydrated as drinking plenty of fluids will help to stop bacteria multiplying in the bladder.