Cystitis Treatment

Cystitis Treatment

You can buy antibiotics for cystitis treatment online without a prescription with our online doctor service. Cystitis is an irritating condition that can cause a painful stinging sensation upon urination. This often is as the result of a bacterial infection in the urine.

Women who are prone to repeated episodes of cystitis should inform their GP. This service is more specifically aimed at infrequent occurences of cystitis. Men rarely suffer from cystitis; and it is safer for you to have a face to face consultation with your GP if you feel you may have a urine infection. Our doctors can prescribe cystitis treatments such as Trimethoprim or Nitrofurantoin to help eradicate your cystitis.

Once you have completed the online doctor consultation, our doctor will review your assessment and prescribe the selected medication if it is safe. Our pharmacy will then dispense and dispatch your prescription to your door.

To read more about cystitis, it's symptoms and treatment, read the NHS choices information page.

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Cystitis Treatment

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Overview

Cystitis is the name for bladder inflammation, usually caused by a bladder infection. It is a common condition in women. Estimates suggest that by the age of 24, almost a third of women will have had cystitis at least once.  

Cystitis is a type of urinary tract infection (UTI) and is sometimes called a lower UTI. Generally, cystitis is an annoyance rather than a cause for serious concern and mild cases usually resolve within a few days. However, some women experience cystitis often and it can sometimes lead to more serious problems such as kidney infections.

Cystitis is much more common in women than in men and, although it is not known why exactly, it is thought that the urethra being much shorter may be a factor. Men with symptoms of cystitis (lower UTI) should always see their GP, whereas mild cystitis may go away without cystitis tablets for women.

Recurrent Cystitis

Some women can experience episodes of cystitis frequently and this can be a regular health condition that needs long-term treatment. Recurrent cystitis may be defined as experiencing cystitis twice or more in 6 months, or three or more times over a year. 
Other types of cystitis include interstitial cystitis (which can cause pelvic pain).

Causes

Cystitis is usually caused by a bacterial infection. Cystitis can be caused by bacteria travelling up the urethra and into the bladder. The urethra is the thin tube that removes urine from the body. It can also be caused by a catheter being inserted into the bladder.  

The most common bacteria that causes cystitis is E.coli.

A number of things increase your risk of developing cystitis such as:

  • Having sex
  • Using a diaphragm (a form of contraception)
  • Wiping your bottom from back to front after going to the toilet
  • Having diabetes
  • Irritation from chemicals (e.g. from perfumed soap)

Women with a history of UTIs as a child, or women who have a mother who is prone to UTIs, are more at risk for recurrent cystitis.

In women who have been through the menopause, the urethra can become thinner and shrink. The natural balance of bacteria found in the vagina can also change. Both of these factors can make it easier for the urethra to become infected which can cause cystitis.

Treatments

Mild cases of cystitis often get better without antibiotics. If you have had mild symptoms for less than 3 days, there are some things you can do to relieve your symptoms while it clears up: 

  • You can take over the counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to help with any pain the cystitis is causing.
  • Avoid sex until you feel better. Having sex when you have cystitis can worsen your symptoms.
  • Drinking plenty of water might help to flush out the infection.

Over the counter cystitis remedies are available to help with mild cases of cystitis. These change the acidity of your urine which can help provide cystitis relief from symptoms. One such product, Cystopurin, is available from the Simple Online Pharmacy shop section.

Drinking cranberry juice is thought by some to improve symptoms, but there is limited evidence to suggest it is effective.

Antibiotics

If your symptoms are more severe or have not improved within 3 days you may need antibiotics to treat the infection. In cystitis, antibiotics are usually prescribed for short periods (around 3 days) but may sometimes be prescribed for a week or longer.

Sometimes, your GP may test your urine to help them decide the most appropriate antibiotic to use. Trimethoprim or nitrofurantoin are usually the first choice antibiotics used in cystitis. Other antibiotics are sometimes used such as fosfomycin and pivmecillinam. 

Antibiotics are usually effective cystitis treatments. Symptoms should improve within 1 or 2 days of treatment. If you find there is no improvement, you should speak to your GP because you may need a different treatment.

Antibiotics can also be used to treat recurrent cystitis. Sometimes a GP will prescribe a stand-by antibiotic that you can take as soon as you notice another episode of cystitis beginning. Sometimes women with recurrent cystitis are prescribed an antibiotic to take every day for 3 - 6 months to prevent future episodes from occurring. 

Prevention

Certain tips may help to prevent cystitis from returning. This includes:

  • Keeping hydrated
  • Always wiping your bottom from front to back when you go to the toilet
  • Emptying your bladder as soon as possible after sex
  • Avoiding perfumed products like bubble bath, talcum powder or soap

Symptoms

The main symptoms of cystitis are: 

  • Pain, burning or stinging when urinating
  • Dark, cloudy or strong-smelling urine
  • Pain and discomfort low down in your tummy
  • Frequently needing to urinate, or feeling you need to urinate

FAQ

  • What is Cystitis?

    Cystitis literally means inflammation of the bladder, however is commonly understood to be an infection of the urine, affecting the bladder.

  • What are the symptoms of Cystitis?

    The most common symptoms of cystitis are;

    • Burning sensations / pain upon urination
    • Frequent urination, or feeling like you need to urinate frequently
    • Cloudy and / or foul-smelling urine
    • Pain just above the pubic bone

  • How long does cystitis last for?

    Mild cases of cystitis often improve within 3 days but more severe cases can last longer. If your symptoms do not improve within 3 days, you should speak to a doctor.

  • How can I prevent cystitis?

    Bladder infections are mostly contracted through the germs from bowel movements transferring from the anus to the urethra. Some types of bacteria rapidly grow in urine and make the infection much worse. This normally occurs in people who don’t go to the toilet enough which leads to infection due to the bacteria in the bladder system. Cystitis can also be caused by prostate problems and kidney stones in men. Dehydration and not drinking enough liquid can concentrate the urine and lead to infection.

  • Can cystitis cause any complications?

    Cystitis in men is usually an indication of a more serious problem and requires medical help from your GP. It can also be caused by STI’s which can have other complications Men should see their GP if they suffer from cystitis. Women can use treatment without face to face referral but if it doesn’t clear up, medical advice is needed. This is because if left untreated after it hasn’t cleared up, it can lead to a serious kidney infection.

  • What treatments are there for Cystitis?

    For milder cases of Cystitis, treatment with potassium citrate sachets may be sufficient. For more stubborn infections, a course of antibiotics such as Trimethoprim, may be required.

  • What is the best antibiotic for cystitis?

    This depends on what bacteria is causing your infection. The most common type of bacteria which causes uncomplicated UTI’s is E coli. The antibiotics which are given to treat this bacteria are Trimethoprim or Nitrofurantoin. If your symptoms do not improve after completing a course of these antibiotics, it is important to see you GP to have your urine tested in case it is a different bacteria which needs a different antibiotic.

  • What causes Cystitis?

    Cystitis is inflammation of the bladder, usually caused by a bladder infection.

    It's not always clear how this happens, but it can be caused by:

    • having sex

    • wiping your bottom after going to the toilet – particularly if you wipe from back to front

    • inserting a tampon or urinary catheter (a thin tube inserted into the urethra to drain the bladder)

    • using a diaphragm for contraception

    Women may get cystitis more often than men because their anus (back passage) is closer to their urethra, and their urethra is much shorter, which means bacteria may be able to get into the bladder more easily.

  • Can I get antibiotics for cystitis online?

    Our UK registered online doctor service can offer antibiotic treatment for cystitis. We ask that you complete an online medical assessment for our doctors to review. If suitable, our doctors will write a prescription and send it to our UK pharmacy. Your medicine will then be dispatched to your chosen address. 

    Content Reviewed: 08/12/2020

    References:

    https://cks.nice.org.uk/topics/urinary-tract-infection-lower-women/

    https://cks.nice.org.uk/topics/urinary-tract-infection-lower-men/

    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cystitis/

Trimethoprim

Medication Simple Online Pharmacy
200mg x6 £9.50

Macrobid

Medication Simple Online Pharmacy
100mg x6 £39.99

Nitrofurantoin

Medication Simple Online Pharmacy
50mg x12 £11.99

Cystitis Treatment Treatment Comparison