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Symptoms - Cystitis

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

Cystitis can cause problems with peeing and make you feel unwell.

Cystitis is very common in women and mild cases often get better on their own.

Speak to a pharmacist for advice on treating cystitis at home.

Symptoms of cystitis in adults

Cystitis in adults can cause:

  • pain, burning or stinging when you pee
  • needing to pee more often and urgently than normal
  • feeling like you need to pee again soon after going to the toilet
  • pee that's dark, cloudy or strong-smelling
  • pain low down in your tummy
  • feeling generally unwell, achy, sick and tired
  • blood in your pee

In adults, cystitis does not usually cause a high temperature (fever). But if you have a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or above, and pain in your lower back or sides, it may be a sign of a kidney infection.

Symptoms can be similar to those of other conditions, so it's important to get a proper diagnosis. Cystitis is not usually a cause for serious concern.

You may not need to see a GP if you're a woman who has had cystitis before, or you've had mild symptoms for less than 3 days.

Non-urgent advice: See your GP if:

  • you're not sure if you have cystitis
  • symptoms are severe, such as blood in your pee
  • you're pregnant
  • the symptoms do not start to get better within 3 days
  • you get cystitis often
  • your child has symptoms
  • you're a man

If you have long-term or frequent pelvic pain and problems peeing, you may have a condition called interstitial cystitis.

Symptoms of cystitis in children

It can be difficult to tell if a child has cystitis. The symptoms can be vague and young children find it hard to communicate how they feel.

Children can have the same symptoms as adults.

Other symptoms of cystitis in young children may include:

Content supplied by the NHS and adapted for Ireland by the HSE

Page last reviewed: 22 March 2021
Next review due: 22 March 2024

This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 123.