Cystitis (Bladder Infection)

Overview of Cystitis (Bladder Infection)

Cystitis (inflammation of the bladder) is the common medical term for a bacterial infection of the bladder. There are numerous bacteria present around the urinary opening. Bacteria can be introduced into the bladder from the vagina or rectum during sexual intercourse. Bacteria can also be introduced into the bladder from the vagina or rectum from other sources such as fingers or objects.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Frequent urination
  • Urgency to urinate
  • Painful urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • Pressure sensation in the lower abdomen or a feeling of pressure


Antibiotics are needed to treat bladder infections. It is important to complete all the medication prescribed. Bladder infections left untreated may develop into a kidney infection. This is a serious complication and you could feel quite ill.

Self-care includes drinking a lot of fluids. There is an over-the-counter medication that can relieve the symptoms acutely but it will not cure the infection.


  • Drink plenty of water
  • Urinate frequently, do not postpone the need to urinate
  • Wipe front to back after using the toilet
  • Wear cotton underwear and avoid wearing tight clothing for extended periods of time.
  • Urinate after sex to help wash away bacteria.
  • Pure cranberry juice can prevent a bladder infection for some women. Cranberry juice cannot cure a bladder infection.

How We Can Help

  • If you would like to be seen by our medical staff, please contact our Appointment Desk to schedule an appointment.
  • Also, our Advice Nurse service is available at no charge for all UC Davis students to discuss health concerns and the need for medical care.