If you notice that you need to pee more often or experience pain during urination, you might be suffering from cystitis, an inflammation of your bladder.

And it’s not just you: cystitis and other types of urinary tract infections affect around 50-60% of women. In most cases, cystitis occurs when bacteria that live harmlessly in your bowels or on your skin get into the bladder through the tube that carries urine out of your body (urethra). The feeling that you need to urinate more often or having an uncomfortable or and even painful urination are two of the main symptoms letting you know that you may suffer from cystitis, also known as UTI (urinary tract infection).

Normally urination should not be painful, and urine should be the colour of straw. How often and how much you urinate depends on how often, and how much you eat and drink. The European Food Safety Authority recommends that women should drink about 2.0 litres of fluid per day. Taking this into account, in mild climates it's quite normal to produce anything between 800mls and 2.5 litres of urine a day.  

It is not always clear what are the causes of cystitis. Women are more susceptible than men to get cystitis because their anus is closer to their urethra and their urethra is much shorter, so bacteria might get into the bladder more easily. Cystitis is usually caused by a bacterial infection, but it could also be the result of damage or irritation to your bladder (non-infectious cystitis). 

Causes of bladder infection (bacterial cystitis): 

  • Not emptying your bladder fully when you urinate 

  • Using a diaphragm for contraception 

  • Wiping from back to front after going to the toilet (you should wipe front to back) 

Causes of irritation or damage in your bladder and risk factors for developing a bladder infection:

  • Chemicals and perfume in soaps 

  • Radiotherapy to the pelvis

  • Friction from having sex

  • Diabetes 

  • Menopause

Cystitis symptoms

Cystitis treatment

Treatment of cystitis depends on the kind of cystitis you have. If it is caused by a bacterial infection, then most likely you need to take antibiotics prescribed by a doctor. If you have had cystitis before or you know your cystitis is non-bacterial and your symptoms are mild, then cystitis may often clear up without any treatment and you can relieve the symptoms with products such as CanesOasis®. CanesOasis® offers effective relief from cystitis symptoms. It reduces the acidity of your urine to help to make it more comfortable for you to urinate while your body tackles the infection.

You should always remember to drink plenty of water and to pee frequently. It is advisable to avoid sex. Remember you should always wipe from front to back when going to the toilet.

Smiling young woman wearing grey T-shirt, happy after Canesten cystitis treatment

Cystitis prevention

The best thing you can do to prevent cystitis is to stay hydrated. If your urine is straw coloured, you're hydrated enough. Dark coloured urine is a sign you need to drink more. Remember to drink between six to eight glasses of water a day, or more if it’s hot or you’ve been working out. The drinks to avoid are: caffeinated, fizzy or alcoholic beverages. They might irritate your bladder and lead to cystitis.

If you get cystitis often, you might consider taking these measures. Good hygiene helps to prevent bacteria from travelling up the urethra and into the bladder, which can help prevent cystitis:

Interstitial cystitis

Interstitial cystitis, also known as painful bladder syndrome or bladder pain syndrome, is a bladder condition that causes long-term pelvic pain and problems peeing. It is mostly common in women rather than men. It is difficult to say what causes it because there isn’t any noticeable bladder infection so the antibiotics can’t help. The symptoms of interstitial cystitis are: 

There is no cure for interstitial cystitis but some lifestyle changes can help relieve the symptoms. These are: