Cystitis is the inflammation of the bladder, usually caused by a bladder infection. It is a common urinary tract infection, (UTI) but can be painful and unpleasant. If you have it, you’ll notice a pain or burning sensation when you pass water and you’ll need to pee more often than usual and more urgently. Your urine might be dark and strong smelling. You may also feel achy and sick, and have a pain low down in your tummy.

Cystitis is caused by a bacterial infection that makes your bladder become inflamed. It’s by far most common in women. About half of all women get it at least once, and sometimes it can become recurrent. About half of women will get a urinary tract infection such as cystitis at some point in their life.


It arises when bacteria that live harmlessly in your bowel, get carried into your bladder through the urethra. It’s not always clear how this happens, but it could be by having sex, going to the toilet or inserting a tampon.

The condition can make you feel tired and unwell. Although it will often clear up on its own, there are ways you can get quick, effective relief. Help relieve the symptoms by drinking plenty of non-acidic fluids like water or milk and avoid liquids like fruit juices and alcohol. Also keep warm and rest. Females can take Cymalon, which can help reduce the acidity of your urine and ease the stinging and burning sensation.

If your cystitis doesn’t clear up within a few days or comes back frequently, talk to your GP.