Do you have cystitis?

Cystitis is inflammation of the bladder. The inflammation of the bladder is caused by a urinary tract infection or UTI, which is a bacterial infection. Cystitis more commonly affects women, however men can get it too. In either case, cystitis can affect a person’s quality of life and therefore requires treatment. Men who suffer from an enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), kidney stones, or a urethral stricture have an increased risk for cystitis. 


The signs and symptoms of cystitis may appear within a few hours to a day. They may include a frequent and persistent urge to urinate, a burning sensation during urination (dysuria), a low-grade fever, pelvic discomfort, blood in the urine (hematuria), or urine that is cloudy in appearance and has a foul odor.

Your doctor will perform various diagnostic tests or procedures in order to diagnose cystitis. Tests and procedures may include a urine analysis, cystoscopy, or an ultrasound or x-ray.  

·         Urine Analysis:  Your doctor will ask you to provide a urine sample for a detailed analysis which usually looks at color, clarity, odor, specific gravity, pH, protein, glucose, nitrites, leukocytes (white blood cells), and ketones. For example, a high number of white blood cells may indicate an infection. This test will check for the different components of the urine which can help find the cause of certain symptoms. Depending on what is found in the analysis, the urine samples may also be cultured for signs of bacteria which will help in determining the cause. Treatment depends on the results.

·         Cystoscopy: A cystoscopy involves inserting an instrument called a cystoscope into the urethra to look into the bladder for any abnormalities. A cystoscope is a small fiber optic camera attached to a thin tube.

·         Ultrasound or X-ray: These tests are not as commonly needed, but if may be recommended given the results of the other tests such as when there are no signs of infection.

Because cystitis is a bacterial infection it will most likely be treated with a course of antibiotics. The type of antibiotics that will be prescribed depends on what type of bacteria was found. The symptoms will usually clear up within a few days. If they persist or become more severe, inform your doctor. Some of the types of antibiotics that are used to treat cystitis include Amoxicillin, Augmentin, Keflex, Duricef, Ceftin, Lorabid, Rocephin, Cephalexin, or Suprax.