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5th September 2019

All About Cystitis

Consultant Gynaecologist Narendra Pisal talks about bladder infection (cystitis), a condition that is very common amongst women.

Bladder infection (cystitis) is very common in women for a number of reasons. The urethra, the tube between the bladder and outside, is quite short (4cm) in women and with proximity to vaginal discharge and secretions with its bacteria, infection can easily enter the bladder.

Cystitis can cause a lot of symptoms such as pain, urinary frequency, burning, blood stained urine, pain during intercourse and temperature. Usually it is quite an easy problem to solve with a course of antibiotics. But using the right antibiotics is very important as ineffective antibiotics can delay the recovery and lead to resistant or recurrent infection. If not treated appropriately, the infection can also spread to the kidneys and may need hospitalisation and intravenous medication. In order to prescribe the right medication, it is necessary to send a sample of urine to the microbiology lab for microscopy, culture and antibiotic sensitivity testing. Guesswork regarding antibiotics is not a good idea. My microbiologist says, “If you shoot in the dark, you will need many bullets”.

Recurrent bladder infection is a problem that affects a lot of women too. Persistent or recurrent symptoms can lead to anxiety and poor sleep. Persistent and urgent need to urinate can make some women so anxious of getting to the toilet in time that they avoid going out or attending meetings. It can lead to chronic pelvic pain, aversion to sex (as sex can often be a trigger) and can affect personality and performance. I have seen high flying career women debilitated by this seemingly simple condition.

If you are worried about cystitis, please see your GP or ring us on 0207 10 11 700 to book an appointment.

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