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Diagnosis and treatment of Cystitis

The term ‘cystitis’ refers to inflammation of the urinary bladder. The recurrence of cystitis may, in some cases, be associated with kidney troubles. Children and men should always see their GP if they have cystitis. Women should always see their GP the first time they have the condition. They should also return to see their GP if they have the condition more than three times in one year.The symptoms of cystitis usually clear up without treatment within 4-9 days. There are some self-help treatments that can ease the discomfort of any symptoms, or your GP may prescribe antibiotics.

– Over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers, such as paracetamol, or ibuprofen, can be taken to reduce discomfort.
– Drinking plenty of water is often recommended as a treatment for cystitis.
– If your symptoms are moderate, or severe, your GP may prescribe a short course of antibiotics. This will usually be in the form of a tablet to be swallowed 2-4 times a day, for three days.
– For a more complicated case of cystitis, such as cystitis with another underlying infection, you may be given antibiotics to take for 5-10 days.

How does a doctor diagnose cystitis?

The diagnosis of cystitis is primarily based on symptoms and signs. Visual appearance of the urine is not helpful. The most important examination of urine is done by chemical testing (dipstick test), which is very quick, and by urine culture where the specimen is sent to a hospital laboratory to grow and examine the bacteria. The specimen must be fresh. It is also important that the woman has separated her labia (lips) during urination, to avoid bacteria from the skin and vagina contaminating the specimen. If there is inflammation, the doctor will identify bacteria and red and white blood cells in the urine using the dipstick test. If this is positive, your doctor can prescribe antibiotics immediately while waiting for further confirmation from the urine culture.

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