Acute Cystitis: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment


Acute cystitis is a common urinary tract infection (UTI) that primarily affects the bladder. It is characterized by inflammation of the bladder lining, which can cause discomfort and frequent urination. In this article, we will explore the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for acute cystitis.


Acute cystitis occurs when bacteria enter the urinary tract and multiply in the bladder, leading to infection and inflammation. Women are more commonly affected by acute cystitis due to the shorter length of the urethra, making it easier for bacteria to reach the bladder. However, men can also develop cystitis, often as a result of underlying urinary tract issues.


The symptoms of acute cystitis can be uncomfortable and may include:

  • Strong, persistent urge to urinate
  • Frequent urination in small amounts
  • Burning sensation or pain during urination
  • Cloudy or bloody urine
  • Lower abdominal discomfort or pressure
  • Low-grade fever (in some cases)


Acute cystitis is primarily caused by bacterial infection, most commonly Escherichia coli (E. coli) that normally resides in the intestines. When these bacteria enter the urethra and reach the bladder, they can lead to infection. Other less common causes include sexual activity, catheter use, and abnormalities in the urinary tract that obstruct the flow of urine.


Diagnosing acute cystitis involves a combination of patient history, physical examination, and diagnostic tests. Commonly used tests include:

  • Urinalysis: A urine sample is analyzed to look for signs of infection, such as the presence of white blood cells, red blood cells, and bacteria.
  • Urine culture: A culture test identifies the specific bacteria causing the infection and helps determine the most appropriate antibiotic for treatment.
  • Imaging tests: In some cases, imaging studies like ultrasound or CT scan may be performed to evaluate the urinary tract and identify any structural abnormalities.


Acute cystitis is typically treated with antibiotics to eliminate the bacterial infection. The choice of antibiotic will depend on the urine culture results and the sensitivity of the bacteria to specific medications. Other measures that can help manage symptoms and support recovery include:

  • Increased fluid intake: Drinking plenty of water helps flush out bacteria and can relieve the burning sensation during urination.
  • Urinary analgesics: Over-the-counter pain relievers specifically designed for urinary discomfort can provide temporary relief.
  • Urinary alkalizers: These can help reduce the acidity of urine, which may alleviate pain during urination.


To reduce the risk of acute cystitis, some preventive measures include:

  • Drinking plenty of water to help flush out bacteria
  • Urinating before and after sexual activity
  • Wiping from front to back after using the toilet
  • Avoiding the use of irritating personal hygiene products
  • Practicing good genital hygiene


Acute cystitis is a common urinary tract infection that affects the bladder and causes uncomfortable symptoms. Prompt diagnosis and appropriate antibiotic treatment are essential to resolve the infection and prevent complications. Implementing preventive measures can help reduce the risk of recurrent episodes. If you experience symptoms of acute cystitis, consult with a healthcare provider for accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult with a qualified healthcare provider for accurate diagnosis and treatment options specific to your condition.