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    Cystitis Symptoms and Risk Factors + 6 Simple Rules That Can Help you Prevent it

    Updated 14 April 2020 |
    Published 29 August 2018
    Fact Checked
    Reviewed by Kate Shkodzik, MD, Obstetrician and gynecologist
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    Did you know you can prevent cystitis symptoms following simple rules? By the way, they also work for the prevention of urinary tract infections.

    Cystitis: symptoms and causes

    Cystitis is a bladder inflammation, which can be infectious and non-infectious in nature. About 20–40% of women experience it in their lifetime.

    Most often, cystitis is caused by an infection, when the bacterium Escherichia coli enters the bladder through the urethra (a tubular organ) and multiplies there.

    Cystitis symptoms include:

    Cystitis caused by an infection is treated with antibacterial drugs. If it is non-infectious in nature, the treatment depends on the cystitis causes. In either case, it is better to consult a doctor to speed up the recovery.

    Cystitis risk factors

    Itching, burning, frequent, and painful urination are the typical manifestations of bladder and urinary tract inflammation.

    Cystitis is more common in women than in men due to their physiology. The female urethra is shorter, which makes it easier for the infection to reach the bladder.

    Risk factors for cystitis include:

    • frequent vigorous sex (“honeymoon cystitis”)
    • infrequent urination, as well as restraining the urge to urinate
    • pregnancy (as a result of hormonal changes)
    • some STIs (chlamydia, gonorrhea, etc.)
    • skin allergies to ingredients contained in soap, vaginal creams, or other products used for intimate hygiene
    • the onset of menopause.

    Cystitis prevention

    Cystitis and urinary tract infections can cause discomfort. As a prevention for urinary tract infection, it is recommended that you:

    • drink more water. This helps remove unnecessary substances from the body.
    • urinate more often. Go the toilet whenever you feel like it (preferably once every 2 hours) and try to empty the bladder completely.
    • use toilet paper, wiping from the urethra to the anus to prevent infection
    • empty the bladder after sexual intercourse
    • take a shower rather than a bath
    • don’t use soap, especially perfumed ones, for intimate hygiene, as it can cause irritation

    Cystitis is, of course, unpleasant. But it’s not impossible to prevent if you follow certain rules! If you start to feel discomfort, though, you should consult a doctor.

    History of updates

    Current version (14 April 2020)

    Reviewed by Kate Shkodzik, MD, Obstetrician and gynecologist

    Published (29 August 2018)

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