Recurrent Cystitis in Women

How to Cite This Chapter: Mertz D, Duława J, Drabczyk R. Recurrent Cystitis in Women. McMaster Textbook of Internal Medicine. Kraków: Medycyna Praktyczna. Accessed April 24, 2024.
Last Updated: October 15, 2021
Last Reviewed: October 15, 2021
Chapter Information

Clinical Features And Diagnosis Top

Recurrent cystitis affects 10% to 20% of women without any risk factors for complicated urinary tract infection (UTI). Etiologic agents are the same as in uncomplicated sporadic cystitis. Reinfections are markedly more frequent than relapses. In some patients an evident relationship between sexual intercourses and subsequent episodes of UTI may be observed. When symptoms recur, obtain urine culture. Additional diagnostic tests (including imaging studies) are generally not recommended, unless risk factors for complicated UTI are suspected or rare uropathogens (eg, Proteus spp) are detected.


1. The same drugs may be used as in uncomplicated cystitis.

2. In some cases a recurrent UTI is actually a relapse. This occurs most frequently in patients in whom the previous episode of cystitis was accompanied by asymptomatic pyelonephritis that has not been successfully treated with a short course of antimicrobial therapy. In patients with a relapse of UTI, perform urine cultures and start empiric treatment with a different class of antibiotics until culture results are available.


See Prevention (Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)).

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