As an extremely common urinary condition, it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of cystitis, and what you can do to prevent its development. Here are the basics that you should know about the condition.
What is cystitis?
Cystitis is traditionally defined as an inflammation of the bladder, but it can indicate an infection in any part of the urinary system.
What are the causes?
Cystitis occurs when bacteria enters the bladder through the urethra. Typical causes of cystitis are pregnancy, sexual intercourse (through damage caused by friction), poor toilet hygiene, and failure to empty the bladder on a regular basis (causing the urine to become infected with bacteria).
What are the symptoms?
The main symptom of cystitis is an urge to urinate as often as every few minutes, which can be accompanied by pain, or the presence of blood in the urine. You may also experience pain in the lower abdomen and a feeling of general unwellness and fatigue.
Diagnosis and treatment
For your doctor to identify the bacteria causing the infection, you will need to supply a urine sample. The usual treatment for cystitis is a course of antibiotics, which you are required to complete – even if your symptoms have disappeared.
What can you do to prevent cystitis?
There are some protective measures that can be taken in order to avoid developing the condition. The first piece of advice is to drink plenty of fluids and keep your bladder well flushed every day, to prevent the build-up of bacteria. Experts also advise that you use a lubricant during intercourse, to reduce friction; and pass urine as soon as possible after intercourse.