Cystitis : Symptoms

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 does not usually cause a high temperature (fever).

But 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.

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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.

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When to see a GP 

If you're a woman who has had cystitis before, or you have mild symptoms that have lasted less than 3 days, you do not necessarily need to see a GP.

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

Try some self-help measures or speak to a pharmacist if you need any advice about treating cystitis.

But you should see a GP if:

  • you're not sure if it's cystitis
  • your symptoms are severe
  • your symptoms do not start to get better within 3 days
  • you get cystitis frequently
  • you're pregnant
  • your child has symptoms
  • you're a man

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.

Cystitis is not 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 not sure whether you have it.

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Interstitial cystitis

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

Find out more about interstitial cystitis

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