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How does cystitis differ from a urinary tract infection?

What is the difference between cystitis and a urinary tract infection? My obgyn says now that he thinks I have cystitis - but I don't see any difference between the problems I'm having now (frequent urination, pain) and the symptoms I had before, when I had a UTI. Is there a difference at all?
There can be a few causes of pain and frequent urination in women. The doctors who can help discuss this issue with you include your primary care doctor and your OB / GYN doctor. It is likely that you and your doctor are speaking about the same thing. "Acute cystitis" is essentially the technical medical word for "urinary tract infection." Although there are a few other more rare causes of "acute cystitis" virtually all "acute cystitis" is a urinary infection. "Cystitis" simple means inflammation of the bladder. As you know the signs of a urinary infection include frequent urination and cramping or pain with urination. There is a separate entity called "chronic cystitis" or "interstitial cystitis" which can have many of the same symptoms as an acute urinary infection but that involves a chronic inflammation of the bladder that is not clearly or always related to bladder infections. Special therapies and medicals, as well as special examinations by a bladder specialist, or urologist, may be needed for this condition. As always, the diagnosis and management of your specific condition will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Scheduling an office visit with your primary care doctor or your OB / GYN doctor is recommended.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.

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