If you have signs or symptoms common to cystitis, make an appointment with your primary care provider. After an initial evaluation, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in urinary tract disorders (urologist or nephrologist).
What you can do
To prepare for your appointment:
- Ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as collect a urine specimen.
- Write down your symptoms, including any that seem unrelated to cystitis.
- Make a list of all the medications, vitamins or other supplements that you take.
- Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Sometimes it can be hard to remember everything your doctor tells you, and a relative or friend may hear something that you missed or forgot.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
For cystitis, basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is the most likely cause of my signs and symptoms?
- Are there any other possible causes?
- Do I need any tests to confirm the diagnosis?
- What factors do you think may have contributed to my cystitis?
- What treatment approach do you recommend?
- If the first treatment doesn't work, what will you recommend next?
- Am I at risk of complications from this condition?
- What is the risk that this problem will recur?
- What steps can I take to reduce my risk of a recurrence?
- Should I see a specialist?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared, don't hesitate to ask other questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:
March 18, 2015
- When did you first notice your symptoms?
- Have you been treated for a bladder or kidney infection in the past?
- How severe is your discomfort?
- How frequently do you urinate?
- Are your symptoms relieved by urinating?
- Do you have low back pain?
- Have you had a fever?
- Have you noticed vaginal discharge or blood in your urine?
- Are you sexually active?
- Do you use contraception? What kind?
- Could you be pregnant?
- Are you being treated for any other medical conditions?
- Have you ever used a catheter?
- What medications are you currently taking, including over-the-counter and prescription drugs as well as vitamins and supplements?
- Bope ET, et al. Bacterial infections of the urinary tract in women. In: Conn's Current Therapy. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 11, 2015.
- Mandell GL, et al. Urinary tract infections. In: Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 13, 2015.
- Hooton TM. Uncomplicated urinary tract infection. New England Journal of Medicine. 2012;366:1028.
- Stein R, et al. Urinary tract infections in children: EAU/ESPU guidelines. European Urology. In press. Accessed Jan. 13, 2015.
- Interstitial cystitis. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary_disorders/voiding_disorders/interstitial_cystitis.html. Accessed Jan. 13, 2015.
- A guide to chemotherapy. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/treatmenttypes/chemotherapy/understandingchemotherapyaguideforpatientsandfamilies/understanding-chemotherapy-more-side-effects-urine-bladder-kidney-problem. Accessed Jan. 14, 2015.
- Understanding radiation therapy: A guide for patients and families. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/treatmenttypes/radiation/understandingradiationtherapyaguideforpatientsandfamilies/understanding-radiation-therapy-radiation-to-pelvis. Accessed Jan. 14, 2015.
- Guidelines on urological infections. European Association of Urology. http://www.uroweb.org/guidelines/online-guidelines/. Accessed Jan. 13, 2015.
- Urinary tract infections in adults. National Kidney & Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/utiadult/. Accessed Jan. 13, 2015.
- Cranberry. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/cranberry. Accessed Jan. 13, 2015.
- Jepson RG. Cranberries for preventing urinary tract infections. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001321.pub5/abstract. Accessed Jan. 13, 2015.
- Anderson CA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 16, 2015.
- Castle EP (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Arizona. Jan. 23, 2015.