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Cystitis and Urinary Tract Infection

Cystitis and Urinary Tract Infection

Cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder usually caused by an infection or due to irritation or damage caused by friction.

It's a common type of urinary tract infection (UTI), particularly in women, and is usually more of a nuisance than a cause for serious concern.

Symptoms:

  • Persistent urge to urinate.
  • Burning sensation when you wee.
  • Cramping or pressure in the lower abdomen.

What causes cystitis?

Cystitis is usually caused by a bacterial infection in the bladder. Sometimes bacteria gets into the bladder if you don’t empty it properly. Once there the bacteria multiplies irritating the bladder lining causing the symptoms of cystitis.

The condition is also sometimes caused by damage or irritation around the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of our bodies).

Cystitis is sometimes caused by friction during sex.

How to treat cystitis:

  • Drink plenty of water (around 6-8 glasses a day) to flush out the bacteria.
  • Painkiller can be taken to ease cramps.
  • Over-the-counter remedies which contain potassium citrate, sodium citrate or sodium bicarbonate neutralise the painful acid produced by the bacteria making urination hurt less.

Tips to prevent cystitis:

  • Go to the toilet when you need to rather than ‘hanging on’.
  • When urinating sit well back on the toilet seat as this helps the bladder empty.
  • After using the loo, wipe from front to back to avoid spreading bacteria from the anus to the urethra (the tube through which the urine comes out).
  • Avoid wearing tight or synthetic clothing that restricts airflow.
  • Lubricating gels such as K-Y Jelly may help you avoid bruising during intercourse.
  • Drink cranberry juice - this contains properties that help repel bacteria that can infect the urinary tract.
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