It is believed that most women will experience cystitis in their lifetime, often on more than one occasion. It is an extremely common bladder infection that occurs most frequently due to intestinal bacteria. This particular bladder infection more commonly occurs in women than men because the urethra, which is the tube that transports urine out of the body from the bladder, is shorter in women. The location of the opening of the urethra is also in close proximity to the anus, which means it is easy for anal bacteria to infect the bladder.
Cystitis is particularly common in women who are pregnant, sexually active or post-menopausal, though it can occur at any age. It is usually a mild infection that lasts between four to nine days. Painkillers are usually sufficient to alleviate symptoms, but in severe cases antibiotics may be necessary.