If you notice that you need to pee more often or experience pain during urination, you might be suffering from cystitis, an inflammation of your bladder.
And it’s not just you: cystitis and other types of urinary tract infections affect around 50-60% of women. In most cases, cystitis occurs when bacteria that live harmlessly in your bowels or on your skin get into the bladder through the tube that carries urine out of your body (urethra). The feeling that you need to urinate more often or having an uncomfortable or and even painful urination are two of the main symptoms letting you know that you may suffer from cystitis, also known as UTI (urinary tract infection).
Normally urination should not be painful, and urine should be the colour of straw. How often and how much you urinate depends on how often, and how much you eat and drink. The European Food Safety Authority recommends that women should drink about 2.0 litres of fluid per day. Taking this into account, in mild climates it's quite normal to produce anything between 800mls and 2.5 litres of urine a day.
It is not always clear what are the causes of cystitis. Women are more susceptible than men to get cystitis because their anus is closer to their urethra and their urethra is much shorter, so bacteria might get into the bladder more easily. Cystitis is usually caused by a bacterial infection, but it could also be the result of damage or irritation to your bladder (non-infectious cystitis).
Causes of bladder infection (bacterial cystitis):
Not emptying your bladder fully when you urinate
Using a diaphragm for contraception
Wiping from back to front after going to the toilet (you should wipe front to back)
Causes of irritation or damage in your bladder and risk factors for developing a bladder infection: