From symptoms to treatments: All you need to know about cystitis | Health | Life & Style

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It’s mainly women who get cystitis as women have shorter urethras

Every summer, one in three women find themselves battling with cystitis and about 150 million women worldwide are affected by the condition at some point in their lives. It’s mainly caused by bacteria getting into the bladder via the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body). 

As the urethra and bladder are normally microbe free, when bacteria are present they quickly become inflamed, causing the urinary tract infection (UTI), cystitis. Left untreated, cystitis can move up to the kidneys and cause serious illness.

The second type of cystitis is known as interstitial cystitis, an inflammation of the tissues around the urethra and bladder, which causes chronic bladder irritation. It can be triggered after a bout of bacterial cystitis, after enthusiastic sex (hence it traditionally being known as “honeymoon disease”), or as a symptom of the menopause. 

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A new sexual relationship can also cause cystitis when a woman comes into contact with new colonies of bacteria during intimacy. 

Although it can affect men, it’s mainly women who get cystitis as women have shorter urethras, so there’s a higher risk of bacteria entering this area. 

The symptoms

Typically, needing to wee more often than usual is the first sign of the condition. As the infection progresses, it can lead to pain, burning, a general feeling of discomfort and not being able to pass much urine but constantly feeling the need to urinate.

Other symptoms include:

l Pain, burning or stinging when you wee.

l Feeling generally unwell, achy, sick and tired.

l Lower abdomen pain.

l Cloudy and/or strong-smelling urine.

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