Symptoms of cystitis 

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

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
  • urine that's dark, cloudy or strong-smelling
  • pain low down in your tummy
  • feeling generally unwell, achy, sick and tired
  • blood in your urine

In adults, cystitis doesn't usually cause a high temperature (fever). If you have a temperature of 38C (100.4F) or above and pain in your lower back or sides, it may be a sign of a kidney infection.

Symptoms of cystitis in children

It can be difficult to tell whether a child has cystitis, because the symptoms can be vague and young children cannot easily communicate how they feel.

Possible symptoms of cystitis in young children may include:

Children with cystitis can sometimes also have symptoms usually found in adults, such as pain when peeing, peeing more often than normal and pain in their tummy.

When to see your GP 

You should see your GP if you or your child have symptoms of cystitis for the first time.

Cystitis isn't usually a cause for serious concern, but the symptoms can be similar to several other conditions, so it's important to get a proper diagnosis.

If you're a woman who has had cystitis before, you don't necessarily need to see your GP again. Cystitis is very common in women and mild cases often get better on their own. Speak to a pharmacist if you need any advice about treating cystitis.

However, you should see your GP if your symptoms are severe or don't start to get better in a few days, you get cystitis frequently, or you're pregnant.

Children and men should always be seen by a GP if they have symptoms of cystitis, as the condition is less common and could be more serious in these groups.

Interstitial cystitis

You should see your GP if you have long-term or frequent pelvic pain and problems peeing, as you may have a condition called interstitial cystitis.

This is a poorly understood bladder condition that mostly affects middle-aged women.

Unlike regular cystitis, there's no obvious infection in the bladder and antibiotics don't help. However, your doctor may be able to recommend a number of other treatments to reduce your symptoms.

Read more about interstitial cystitis.

Page last reviewed: 14/08/2015

Next review due: 14/08/2017