What is cystitis?

Cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder and possibly the urethra that may occur with a urinary tract infection. Cystitis is frequently caused by infection, which is more common in women because a woman’s urethra is shorter than a man’s urethra, making it easier for bacteria to enter and infect the female bladder.

The bladder is a balloon-like organ in the lower abdomen, specifically the pelvis area. The bladder stretches as it collects and stores urine produced by the kidneys. The urethra is a tube that connects the bladder to the outside of the body. During urination, urine is eliminated from the bladder through the urethra. The inflammation of the bladder and urethra caused by cystitis results in symptoms such as feeling the urgent need to urinate, blood in the urine, and burning or pain during urination. Cystitis symptoms may be subtle in the very young and very old.

Cystitis is generally treatable. Treatment options vary depending on the underlying cause.

Left untreated, certain underlying causes of cystitis can result in serious complications, such as a kidney infection (pyelonephritis). Seek prompt medical care if you have symptoms of cystitis. Early diagnosis and treatment can help reduce the risk of complications.


What are the symptoms of cystitis?

The symptoms of cystitis result from the irritation and inflammation of the bladder and the urethra. Symptoms of cystitis include:

  • Bloody or pink-colored urine (hematuria)

  • Cloudy urine

  • Difficult and/or painful urination and/or burning with urination (dysuria)

  • Fever

    Read more about cystitissymptoms


What causes cystitis?

Cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder and possibly the urethra. Most often, cystitis is caused by a bladder infection, and it occurs most often in women.

Normally, the bladder, urethra, and the rest of the urinary tract are sterile and contain no bacteria or other microorganisms. Cystitis can occur when bacteria enters the bladder from outside the body through the urethra. Ba... Read more about cystitiscauses


How is cystitis treated?

Treatment of cystitis begins with seeking regular medical care. Regular medical care allows your health care professional to promptly order diagnostic testing in the earliest, most treatable stage of a urinary tract infection or cystitis.

Prompt diagnosis and treatment of the underlying cause of cystitis reduces the risk of developing serious complications, such as kidney infectio... Read more about cystitistreatments

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 9, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Kidneys and the Urinary System, Overactive Bladder

Cystitis Related Links

Popular Related Slide Show