Cystitis - an inflammation of the bladder

Cystitis is inflammation of the bladder, most often caused by urinary infection. The bacteria Escherichia coli, coming from the intestine, are the primary cause. Women are affected much more than men.

Created 03 August 2021
Updated 30 May 2024

About this article

Created 03 August 2021
Updated 30 May 2024

45% Almost 1 in 2 women say they take vaginal douches whereas it's bad for their vaginal microbiota

Cystitis affects 30% of women at least once in their life, with a spike in frequency between the ages of 20 and 30. It is 50 times more common in women than men. Symptoms include a burning sensation when urinating, the pressing need to urinate, and cloudy and unpleasant-smelling urine. It is simple to treat, but reoccurs frequently.

Women the most affected

Certain factors make women more likely to be affected: the shorter length of the urethra, sexual contact, catheters, urinary incontinence, menopause, and pregnancy. Anatomical anomalies and diabetes are also risk factors. Too much or too little intimate hygiene are also implicated in the appearance of cystitis.

An intestinal origin

In 90% of cases, cystitis is caused by Escherichia coli bacteria. These bacteria are naturally present in the intestinal microbiota. They can penetrate into the urethra, travel to the bladder, and multiply there.

Standardized treatment 

The normal and most effective treatment for cystitis is antibiotics. However, recurrence is common. Some measures can prevent this (drinking water, hygiene, etc.). Studies have shown the benefit of taking probiotics, such as certain lactobacilli. It should be noted that cranberry may play a role in preventing recurrence of cystitis, but the effect has not yet been clearly demonstrated.