What causes cystitis?

Cystitis is a painful and uncomfortable experience, which is more likely to affect women than men.

If you’ve experienced the stinging, burning sensation when you urinate, or the pain and general feeling of being unwell with cystitis you’ll know it’s something to be avoided if you can.

There is good news though. It’s easy to treat cystitis, with an antibiotic like trimethoprim. You can buy trimethoprim online which is a quick and effective solution to cystitis.

But what causes cystitis? Can knowing the causes help to avoid this painful problem?

Bacterial Infections

Most cystitis is caused by a bacterial infection in your bladder. This is also known as a urinary tract infection (UTI). This happens when bacteria that live in your body or on your skin get into the urethra (which is the tube that takes your urine out of your body). Women have a shorter urethra and so are more likely to get this type of infection than men.

Bacteria can get into the urethra from the bowel too and this accounts for around 80 per cent of all UTIs.

It’s thought that bacteria can get into the urethra through sexual intercourse (particularly if you use lubricated condoms, see below), and so it’s always best to urinate immediately afterwards to reduce this risk.

It’s also recommended that you wipe from front to back after urinating, this helps reduce the risk of spreading bacteria from the bowel into the urethra.


You’re more likely to get UTIs if you have diabetes. This is because diabetes causes the levels of sugar in your body to be too high, and sugar is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria who feed off it to multiply.

There’s also a higher chance of recurrent UTIs in this case too, so it’s important to ensure you drink plenty of water to flush out bacteria,


After the menopause the lack of oestrogen in your body can cause vaginal dryness. This dryness can cause repeated UTIs and cystitis.

The bacterial balance in your body can also be affected by the lack of oestrogen and this too can cause bacterial infections.


Using a diaphragm or spermicide coated condom also increases your risk of getting cystitis.  Diaphragms can stop your bladder emptying properly which means the bacteria isn’t getting out of your body.

The spermicide in lubricated condoms helps the bacteria to multiply which causes an increased risk of cystitis too. Switching to a non lubricated condom can help resolve this easily.


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