What is cystitis?

Cystitis is a very painful condition of the bladder which causes the sufferer pain when passing urine, the lining of the bladder becomes inflamed and this leaves you feeling as though you want to pass urine all the time even when you have just been, when you do go it is very hard to pass urine and you will get a burning sensation as you do.

What exactly is cystitis and what are the main symptoms?

Cystitis is usually caused by an infection and the lining of the bladder will become very inflamed, you will first feel it as a frequent and urgent need to pass water when in fact when you go you cannot pass more than a trickle or none at all. The infection will leave you feeling bloated and very uncomfortable.

Can anyone get cystitis?

Although adult women are the ones more commonly affected by the infection anyone can get it, most women will have an attack of cystitis at least once in their adult lives with very few being lucky enough not to get it at all. Cystitis is more common in women who are sexually active, while they are pregnant and after the menopause.

How is it treated and what precautions can I take to ensure I don’t get it?

Water is an excellent preventative of cystitis, you should aim to drink around 8 large glasses of water a day, drinking cranberry juice is also thought to ward off its development. Another tip is when you have passed urine always remember to wipe from front to back and wearing cotton underwear and loose clothing on your bottom half will also help.

Perfumed bath oils and foams and vaginal deodorants can also be a cause of the infection and its important to always remember to wash before and after sex, also when possible pass water as soon as possible after. Treatment for the actual infection will usually consist of:

  • Drinking half a pint of water straight away and then every 20 minutes after that, this will help to flush out the urinary tract.
  • Drink cranberry juice throughout the day.
  • Take a branded painkiller to help relieve the pain and stinging sensation.
  • Mix a teaspoon of bicarbonate soda in half a pint of water and drink it, this will help to make the urine less acidic.
  • If a bacterial infection is found then your doctor may prescribe a course of antibiotics.
  • Placing a warm but not hot, hot water bottle between your legs or very low down on your stomach, while laying on your side can help to relieve some of the pain.

If this is the first time you have suffered from cystitis or the symptoms haven’t improved any in 24 hours, or if the symptoms get worse during this time then you should always seek the advice of your doctor. If there is blood present in the urine or you have a lot of pain in your lower back or have a fever then consult your doctor immediately.

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