Despite common belief, cystitis is not a sexually transmitted infection but is a urinary tract infection (UTI), although having more sex can increase your chances of getting cystitis. It is experienced by most women during their life – although some men do get cystitis.
Bacterial Cystitis can happen when bacteria enters the urethra and is far more prevalent than non- bacterial cystitis. Bacteria can enter the urethra via sexual intercourse, poor toilet hygiene and tight underwear can spread unwanted bacteria as well.
Women should remember to wipe from front to back after each toilet visit and urinate following sex, which can help to get rid of bacteria. In addition, try to fully empty your bladder every time you go to the toilet.
An untreated sexually transmitted infection (such as chlamydia) may also help to trigger the onset of an UTI such as cystitis.
Though they occur infrequently in comparison to bacterial cystitis, non-bacterial cystitis can sometimes occur as a result of medicines causing inflammation of the urinary tract as they exit the body via your urine.
Some autoimmune diseases may also cause cystitis as the body attacks bladder cells believing they are a foreign entity.
Mild cases of cystitis may clear up by itself within a few days, but some people may experience episodes of cystitis quite often and may need to buy cystitis antibiotics for more serious cases.
More severe cases of cystitis could lead to serious kidney infection so it is vital to seek medical advice as soon as possible if the symptoms do not improve.
In addition to the antibiotic that gets rid of the infection, there may also be benefit from taking a painkiller to ease the symptoms of the abdominal pain or discomfort when urinating.
Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated is important if you have cystitis as this will help to flush out the infection. There is no evidence to suggest cranberry juice will be any better than water in this regard, contrary to popular opinion.