Cystitis – Bladder Infection Cystitis – Bladder Infection

Cystitis – Bladder Infection

Do you feel burning sensation during urination or urinate more frequently?

Visit Steinberg Urology for a consultation with our urologists to address your concerns, perform diagnosis and provide you on advice as to what treatments are likely to fit your individual circumstances.


Cystitis is a common urinary tract infection that usually occurs when bacteria enter the opening of the urethra and multiply.

Normal urine contains no bacteria. Sometimes, however, bacteria from outside the body get into the urinary tract, and cause infection and inflammation. This is a urinary tract infection. The infection can involve the urethra (a condition called urethritis), kidneys (a condition called pyelonephritis) or bladder, (a condition called cystitis). Cystitis is the most common type of urinary tract infection.

A bladder infection can be painful and annoying, and it can become a serious health problem if the infection spreads to your kidneys.

If you get frequent urinary tract infections, your doctor may do tests to check for other health problems—such as diabetes or an abnormal urinary system—that may be contributing to your infections.

Consultation Request


If you develop urgent, frequent or painful urination that lasts for several hours or longer or if you notice blood in your urine, call your doctor. If you’ve been diagnosed with a UTI in the past and you develop symptoms that mimic a previous UTI, call your doctor.

The common signs of cystitis include:

  • Burning sensation during urination
  • Frequent urination (or feeling the need to urinate frequently)
  • Cloudy urine
  • Pain in the abdomen or pubic area
  • Traces of blood in the urine
  • Temporary incontinence
  • Low-grade fever


Take a quiz on our website. Use your answers talk to your doctor about your symptoms. The quiz will assist your doctor to assess your symptoms and create a personalised management plan and and suitable treatment options.


Cystitis – Bladder Infection


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A UTI is caused by bacteria getting in through the urethra (where your urine comes out), causing inflammation and infection. The bacteria also may travel up the ureters and infect the kidneys.

More than 90 percent of cystitis cases are caused by E. coli. These bacteria normally live in the bowel (colon) and around the anus.

This can happen several different ways:

  • Sexual intercourse may carry bacteria into the urethra.
  • Inserting or changing a urinary catheter can introduce bacteria into the urinary tract.
  • Urine retention can make a UTI more likely. When the bladder isn’t fully emptied, the remaining urine is a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • The onset of menopause causes a thinning of the lining in the urethra, leaving it more vulnerable to bacteria penetration. Menopause also reduces vaginal mucus which serves as a barrier to bacteria.
  • Diaphragms: Women who use diaphragms have a higher risk for cystitis as compared to different types of birth control.


Some people are more likely than others to develop bladder infections or recurrent urinary tract infections. Women are one such group. A key reason is physical anatomy. Women have a shorter urethra, which cuts down on the distance bacteria must travel to reach the bladder.

Women at greatest risk of UTIs include those who:

  • Are sexually active. Sexual intercourse can result in bacteria being pushed into the urethra.
  • Use certain types of birth control. Women who use diaphragms are at increased risk of a UTI. Diaphragms that contain spermicidal agents further increase your risk.
  • Are pregnant. Hormonal changes during pregnancy may increase the risk of a bladder infection.
  • Have experienced menopause. Altered hormone levels in postmenopausal women are often associated with UTIs.

Other risk factors in both men and women include:

  • Interference with the flow of urine. This can occur in conditions such as a stone in the bladder or, in men, an enlarged prostate.
  • Changes in the immune system. This can happen with certain conditions, such as diabetes, HIV infection and cancer treatment. A depressed immune system increases the risk of bacterial and, in some cases, viral bladder infections.
  • Prolonged use of bladder catheters. These tubes may be needed in people with chronic illnesses or in older adults. Prolonged use can result in increased vulnerability to bacterial infections as well as bladder tissue damage.


Your doctor will review your symptoms, and may perform a pelvic exam. Diagnosis will generally be straightforward, especially if you have had cystitis before.

The following tests may also be performed in some cases:

  • Urine analysis: A urine sample is taken to be cultured for bacteria.
  • Urine culture to determine the type of bacteria in the urine. This is important to help determine the appropriate treatment.
  • Cystoscopy: A thin scope with an attached camera is inserted through the urethra to view the bladder and the extent of the UTI. This test is more often used when the diagnosis of infection is questioned. 
  • Medical Imaging: Only, if the doctor is concerned about a possible abnormality in the urinary tract, a CT Scan or ultra-sound might be ordered.
  • Kidney and bladder ultrasound. This imaging test uses high-frequency sound waves to make images of the bladder and the kidneys on a computer screen. The test is used to determine the size and shape of the bladder and the kidneys, and check for a mass, kidney stone, cysts, or other blockages or abnormalities.



Urodynamic Testing


Urinary Flow Test


Bladder Ultrasound


Lab Test



A short course of antibiotics may be prescribed speed the cure of the infection and reduce symptoms. In some cases, cystitis will resolve itself without medication. In the case of a history of cystitis and recurring UTI’s, your physician may decide to increase the strength and/or duration of the antibiotics.


Actions that have been found to reduce risk of recurrent infections:

  • Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water.
  • Empty your bladder regularly to flush out any bacteria.
  • Eating yogurt with active cultures may help.
  • Acidifying the urine with cranberry, vitamin C or Probiotic supplements provides a benefit.
  • Voiding immediately after sex may have a benefit.


The images and/or videos are not presented as a guarantee of result. The results may vary. Patients gave their consent for the publication of images and/or videos.


At Steinberg Urology we pride ourselves on our compassionate care we offer to those facing challenges that affect their quality of life. Our urologists have years of experience and a commitment to excellence.

If you need to discuss this sensitive medical concern, schedule a consultation at our clinic in a safe confidential environment. Let us help you achieve optimal health and wellness in a professional setting.


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