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What causes cystitis?

1 doctor weighed in

In brief: Causes of cystitis

About half of cases of cystitis are caused by infection.
The infection is usually caused by bacteria that are normally present in the anus (back passage). These can get into the urethra when, for example, tampons are inserted, or during sexual intercourse, or when the bottom is wiped from back to front. The bacteria travel up the urethra and multiply in the bladder, causing infection and inflammation.


Women get cystitis more than men because the anus and the opening of the urethra are closer to each other, and a woman’s urethra is shorter than a man’s.

Cystitis may also be caused or encouraged to develop by:


• bruising of the urethra during vigorous sex
poor hygiene on the part of either or both sexual partners
• wearing very tight trousers
• having a catheter fitted
• using a diaphragm as a form of contraception
• the chemicals in some products (such as soaps, bubble bath and vaginal deodorants)
• holding on too long before urinating
• the lower levels of hormones in women after the menopause

In brief: Causes of cystitis

About half of cases of cystitis are caused by infection.
The infection is usually caused by bacteria that are normally present in the anus (back passage). These can get into the urethra when, for example, tampons are inserted, or during sexual intercourse, or when the bottom is wiped from back to front. The bacteria travel up the urethra and multiply in the bladder, causing infection and inflammation.


Women get cystitis more than men because the anus and the opening of the urethra are closer to each other, and a woman’s urethra is shorter than a man’s.

Cystitis may also be caused or encouraged to develop by:


• bruising of the urethra during vigorous sex
poor hygiene on the part of either or both sexual partners
• wearing very tight trousers
• having a catheter fitted
• using a diaphragm as a form of contraception
• the chemicals in some products (such as soaps, bubble bath and vaginal deodorants)
• holding on too long before urinating
• the lower levels of hormones in women after the menopause
Quality HealthCare Team
Quality HealthCare Team
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