Are Cystitis And UTI The Same?

Cystitis is a urinary tract infection (UTI) that causes inflammation of the bladder. Women are more likely to get it than men because their anus and urethra are close together.  Friction from sexual intercourse and using too many bath products also cause cystitis.  

Acute cystitis occurs sporadically and is treated with antibiotics while interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition. Most cases are treated with antibiotics because it is a bacterial infection. Symptoms are unpleasant and include needing to pass water frequently and cloudy urine.  

Sometimes the infection spreads to your kidneys and makes you very ill.  If your symptoms concern you or you are feeling unwell you must visit your doctor.

Cystitis Symptoms And Treatments

Acute cystitis is a bacterial infection which causes the bladder to become inflamed.  Symptoms include an urgent need to go to the toilet, cloudy urine, a burning sensation when passing water, slight fever and mild back pain.

Other reasons for having it are; medication, radiation exposure, catheter use and too many hygiene products. Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition that affects middle-aged women.  It is difficult to treat and doesn’t respond to antibiotics.  Pelvic pain is one of the symptoms of interstitial cystitis as well as the frequent need to go to the toilet.  Possible causes include damage to the bladder and an overactive immune system.


Doctors prescribe antibiotics to treat acute cystitis because it is a bacterial infection. Most people treat the condition by; taking painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, drinking plenty of water, using a hot-water bottle to keep their abdomen warm and avoiding sexual intercourse.  Many swear by cranberry juice because it supposedly reduces the acid in your urine but there is no real evidence that this helps. You must visit your doctor if your symptoms persist or get worse.

Treating interstitial cystitis is complex because it is possibly the symptom of other health issues such as; fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and lupus.  Also, damage to the bladder causes interstitial cystitis.  Finding the correct treatment involves trial and error and lifestyle changes.  If the condition is untenable and reduces the quality of your life significantly you may have to have surgery to relieve the symptoms.


Most UTI or urinary tract infections display similar symptoms such as; frequent painful urination,  slight fever and cloudy strong urine.  Many people treat UTIs by drinking more water, taking ibuprofen and paracetamol and warming their abdomen.  Often looking after yourself in this way is sufficient to treat a UTI.  

However, if the infection lasts longer than a few days and seems to be getting worse you should visit your doctor.  Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics which will clear up the symptoms very quickly.  You must complete the course of antibiotics as it may affect your future resistance to them.  

Urinary tract infections like cystitis are very common and rarely become serious.  Ways you can prevent getting UTIs include; avoid bath products with a strong fragrance, don’t delay going to the toilet, empty your bladder, drink lots of water, wipe from front to back after going to the toilet and emptying your bladder after sex.  

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