The most common symptoms of cystitis are1

  • A burning sensation in the urethra when passing urine
  • A frequent, urgent need to urinate but only a small amount or no urine is passed

Other, more serious, symptoms include:1,2

  • Feelings of pain or discomfort in the lower abdominal area
  • Production of dark, cloudy and strong-smelling urine
  • Presence of blood in urine

The symptoms of cystitis usually appear quite suddenly and can have a significant mental impact, affecting your mood.1 Women who suffer from repeated bladder infections say they feel angry and upset and, even when they are well, anxious about when the next infection will be.

What should I do if I think I have cystitis?

It is important to visit your physician immediately if you think you are suffering from symptoms of cystitis. If left untreated, your symptoms might get worse and it will take longer for treatment to provide relief.3

It is also possible that your symptoms are related to a different condition entirely, which makes it even more important to see a doctor and get appropriate treatment. These conditions include:1,4

  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) - for example, Chlamydia has some similar symptoms
  • Thrush
  • Other bladder problems

Expert advice

"If you have a urinary tract infection as a female you will get a recurrence in 25% in the first 6 months and if you get two recurrences in the first six months it is called a recurrent urinary tract infection and it's the same as if you have three recurrences in 12 months, then also we call it a recurrent urinary tract infection. Every second woman will get one infection in her lifetime and every seventh female will get a recurrence."

"Urinary tract infection places a great [burden on] the normal life of females"

Professor Hartwig W. Bauer
Consultant Urologist