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Cystitis is a common type of urinary tract infection that occurs when the bladder becomes inflamed. It affects more women than men. Although not usually a serious health risk, it can be highly inconvenient and cause a great deal of discomfort. The main symptoms include a stinging or burning sensation when urinating, needing to urinate more frequently than normal, urine that is dark or murky in colour or has a strong smell and general pain in the lower stomach. In most cases, symptoms will subside within a few days without the need for medication. However, people who suffer from regular occurrences of cystitis may need ongoing treatment. In a small minority of cases, it can lead to a serious kidney infection that will require urgent medical attention.
The most common cause of cystitis is a bacterial infection of the bladder. This is thought to happen when bacteria from the bowel or the skin enters into the bladder through the urethra. While it is not always clear why this happens, there are a number of factors that are thought to be responsible. For example, having sex, wiping your bottom from back to front after going to the toilet, using a contraceptive diaphragm, inserting a tampon or using a urinary catheter have all been linked to cystitis.
Trimethoprim is antibiotic tablet that is often used to treat bladder infections. It is usually prescribed when the symptoms of cystitis do not clear up on their own. The antibiotic works by killing the bacteria that is causing the bladder infection and, in most cases, the treatment is highly effective. However, it is worth noting that Trimethoprim will not prevent future episodes or recurrent cases of cystitis. It only treats bladder infections when they occur.
Trimethoprim comes in the form of a tablet. One tablet is usually taken twice a day for three days. However, if you suffer from cystitis on a regular basis, you may need a more continuous course of antibiotics. For further information about dosages, or if your symptoms do not improve after using the antibiotic, speak to your GP or one of our experts here at Click. If you experience a fever, back pain or vomiting, this may be a sign that the infection has spread to your kidneys, in which case it is vital that you seek urgent medical assistance.
Cystitis (UTI) can cause symptoms such as:
In severe cases, the symptoms of a UTI may include the following:
If any of these symptoms occur, seek medical attention right away.
In most cases, individuals get better without needing antibiotics. However, if you experience normal to mild symptoms for two days or less, then there are some things you can do to relieve the symptoms while the condition clears up on its own. For instance:
Various UTI treatments and over-the-counter cystitis remedies are available to help with mild symptoms of cystitis. Most of these treatments alter the urine's acidity, which relieves cystitis symptoms.
It is essential to start taking antibiotics in cases where the cystitis symptoms persist even after 2 to 3 days. In general, for cystitis, UTI antibiotics in the UK are prescribed for a short amount of time. Typically, they are prescribed for about three days. But, they may be prescribed for a week or longer if the symptoms are severe.
GPs tend to test the patient's urine to determine the appropriate antibiotic to prescribe. Trimethoprim or nitrofurantoin are the most popular treatments for cystitis.
It is crucial to note that antibiotics are the most effective form of cystitis treatment. With the help of antibiotics, the symptoms of cystitis improve within a day or two of treatment. In addition, even if your symptoms clear out within two days, it is vital to remember that you must complete the entire prescribed course of the particular antibiotics. On the other hand, if you do not experience any improvement, consult your GP or pharmacist immediately, as you might require the assistance of a different UTI treatment.
Although you can not prevent cystitis, you can make a few lifestyle changes that will help you lower your chances of getting cystitis. For example:
You can only order cystitis treatment if you have a prescription for it. This is because the medication used to treat the condition is often prescription only. In addition, when you self-diagnose yourself with cystitis, you may be ignoring some signs of an underlying disease. Due to this, the antibiotics aimed at cystitis may be responsible for further deteriorating your health as they are ineffective in your case. Instead of resorting to self-diagnosis, get a face-to-face consultation with your GP.
Last reviewed 11 April 2023
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