Pain When You Urinate? You Could be Suffering from Cystitis

Posted On: August 22, 2018

What is Cystitis?

  • It is a urinary bladder inflammation associated with bacterial infection
  • Also known as urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • UTI can either be complicated or uncomplicated

Uncomplicated UTI is defined as an infection occurring in a structurally and functionally normal urinary tract.

Complicated UTI is when an infection happens in an abnormal urinary tract, or there is already an infection from some other part of the body/ blood that has spread to the urinary tract.

How does it happen?

  1. Microorganisms like bacteria that live in the bowel (large intestine) sometimes enter the bladder
  2. It travels from the anus to the vagina then the uretha and finally invading the bladder – bacterial infection
  3. The infection will cause irritation to the lining of the bladder – resulting in discomfort like stinging pain when urinating, dragging abdominal pain, etc.
  4. If the infection isn’t treated, it can eventually affect the kidneys

Most UTIs are caused by bacteria that live in the bowel E. coli cause 70-90% most cases of uncomplicated UTI

What are the common symptoms?

  • Stinging pain or burning sensation when urinating
  • Incomplete urination
  • Constantly waking up at night to urinate
  • Cloudy, dark, bloody or foul smelling urine
  • Bursting to pee
  • Dragging abdominal pain

Is it dangerous?

Not usually, unless the bacteria has traveled upward to the kidneys

How can it be diagnosed?

  • It can be diagnosed easily based on the presented symptoms
  • Urine dipstick testing is another reasonable diagnostic method
  • The responsible bacteria can be identified from the urine culture

How can it be treated?

  • It is most often treated with antibiotics
  • The prescribed cycle of antibiotic needs to be finished completely even after you start to feel better
  • Your doctor may also prescribe medicine that helps to soothe the pain

What can I do to help prevent it?

  • Drink plenty of fluids daily.
    • Some evidence suggest that cranberry juice may help to prevent it
  • Avoid wearing tight clothing in the genital area
  • Wear undergarment made from cotton
  • Change sanitary napkins/tampons frequently during menstruation
  • Be intelligent about intimacy
    • Empty your bladder before and after sexual intercourse
  • Practice goof toilet hygiene:
    • Urinate frequently and try to empty your bladder completely each time – the longer urine stays in the bladder, the more it may gather bacteria
    • Wipe from front to back after urinating to help prevent bacteria from entering the urethra



Minardi, D., d’ Anzeo, G., Cantoro, D., Conti, A., & Muzzonigro, G. (2011). Urinary tract infections in women: etiology and treatment options. International Journal of General Medicine4, 333–343.

Najar, M. S., Saldanha, C. L., & Banday, K. A. (2009). Approach to urinary tract infections. Indian Journal of Nephrology19(4), 129–139.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) – ACOG. (n.d.). Retrieved from

46 Effective And Natural Home Remedies For UTI (ULTIMATE HOW-TO GUIDE). (2017, February 21). Retrieved from

About Dr. Martha Tara Lee

Surrounded by friends who were sexually inhibited and struck by dire lack of positive conversations around sex and sexuality in Singapore, Dr. Martha Tara Lee set out to make a positive difference in embarking on her doctorate in human sexuality before launching Eros Coaching in 2009. Today, she remains dedicated to working with individuals and couples who wish to lead self-actualised and pleasure-filled lives.

She also holds certificates in counselling, coaching and sex therapy, and her fourth degree – a Masters in Counselling in May 2018. In practice for more than nine years, she is the only certified sexuality educator and certified sexuality educator supervisor by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in Singapore.

Often cited in the local media, Dr. Lee is the appointed sex expert for Men’s Health Singapore, and Men’s Health Malaysia. She was recognised as one of ‘Top 50 Inspiring Women Under 40′ by Her World in July 2010, and one of ‘Top 100 Inspiring Women’ by CozyCot in March 2011. She is the host of weekly radio show Eros Evolution on the OMTimes Radio Network.  She has published three books: Love, Sex and Everything In-BetweenOrgasmic Yoga and From Princess to Queen.

Martha works with individuals and couples in private coaching sessions, and conducts her own workshops. She takes prides in making sure all her workshops are also fun, educational, and sex-positive. This comes easily to her because even though she is extremely dedicated and serious about her work, she fundamentally believes that sex is meant to be fun, wonderful, amazing and sacred. As such, this serious light-heartedness has shone through again and again. For her full profile, click here. Email her here.

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