- Women's Health
Cystitis – Cause And Treatment Of Cystitis
Cystitis is a feeling of discomfort when you pass water, usually perceived by many as a burning sensation. With this feeling comes the urge to pass water quite often even though there might be only a small amount to pass. These symptoms are due to an inflammation of the bladder and its outlet pipe, the Urethra. This may bleed slightly. Cystitis is caused by a variety of illnesses, and infections which are often hard to diagnose.
Is it common in people?
Yes, Cystitis is quite common and as many as 50% of women will suffer from it at some point in their lives. Some women suffer repeat attacks of it.
How does Cystitis start?
Almost all of the infections are what is called “Ascending”, so this means the germs go up the Urethra into the Bladder.
Can Cystitis be sexually transmitted?
If an infection occurs from sexual intercourse and gives rise to a bladder infection, then in short, Yes. Cystitis after sexual intercourse can be very common, but not always due to an infection. Cystitis is a tricky condition to deal with and treat.
Is Cystitis dangerous?
Yes. Sometimes the infection can spread through the body to the kidneys, where it then becomes a much more serious illness. Because of the possible risk to the kidneys, all people with Cystitis must attend the doctor for advice. This is especially so for young people aged 15 or less whose kidneys are still developing and growing. There is also thought to be a cancer connection to Cystitis. However, Bladder Cancer in women is quite rare and cervical smears each year (or sooner) will give early warning of cancer in the reproductive organs. Women are advised to get checked regularly.
So when the doctor identifies it, what can be done?
The doctor will identify the type of germs causing the infection from a sample of your Urine, as this will be given many checks.
The doctor can prescribe an antibiotic to kill the germs. There is a “but” in this. Only roughly half of all the attacks that cause the condition are due to germs which can be killed by antibiotics. Many attacks of Cystitis have NO germs present. Furthermore, antibiotics can carry the possible risk of Vaginal Thrush which itself causes much soreness, as well as discomfort and even discharge.
The doctor can conduct tests, arrange for an x-ray to check for signs of kidney damage. The doctor can check for any correctable abnormality which makes you especially vulnerable to attacks. The doctor can also take Vaginal Swabs to see if the trouble comes from the vagina.
What steps can you take?
Cystitis is caused by many different conditions all usually to do with the sex organs. So it helps if you keep a note of any discharges, that an attack begins – even after intercourse – or before a period. Even though you can be checked out, there are preventative steps you can take yourself.
Help the natural defences of your bladder:
Firstly, keep up a good flushing through effect by drinking plenty of water or fluid so as to maintain a urine output of at least 2 litres (5 pints) every day. It may seem like a lot, but it is important to do this. Secondly, empty your bladder at least 6 times a day.
One bath a day is not enough:It is necessary to keep a special flannel / type of towel for the purpose of washing the perineum (the skin area around the entrance to the urethra) each morning and evening, and always after passing a stool. No strong soaps, lotions, creams, antiseptics, powders, or deodorants – just ordinary cool water. If you have a discharge of any kind, the doctor will treat it accordingly but you must always wash frequently.
What if the symptoms are related to sexual intercourse?
If the symptoms occur within 48 hours of sexual intercourse, you may prevent attack by these following measures:
- Both partners wash before intercourse with plain cool water. Dry gently, use a medically-approved lubricant to prevent soreness and bruising.
- Empty your bladder within 15 minutes of having intercourse.
If you find your normal urine burns and you need to pass water quite a lot – this might be because it is too strong. How can you tell? Using blue Litmus Paper from your chemist or pharmacist, test one strip in your urine. If it turns RED, then there is an uncomfortable amount of acid crystals in your urine, so this means you must drink plenty of water. If the urine hurts or has a stinging sensation, then a level teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in water will also help.
What if an attack starts?
Drink an half a pint of water every 20 minutes. Every hour for 3 hours, take a level teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in water to lessen the burning sensation. Keep very warm and wash the perineum front to back after every visit to the lavatory. After the 3 hours period, the attack will have lessened for you to visit the doctor.
To conclude – always ensure your doctor knows about your Cystitis problem, and that your doctor approves of the action you are taking.
Copyright (c) 2010 to 2014 Cheeky Girl / Cassy Mantis
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