`Cystitis’ means inflammation inside the bladder.
How to recognise cystitis
In an attack of cystitis some people will suffer from all or many of these symptoms. Others will suffer only one or two in varying degrees of discomfort.
• A painful burning sensation when passing urine
• urgency, an immediate need to pass urine
• Frequency, passing little and often
• Concentrated, darker or stronger urine which may contain traces of blood
• Pain in the lower abdomen
• High temperature and general tiredness
What causes cystitis?
There are many causes of cystitis, but bacterial infection is the commonest one.
1. Drink plenty – at least 3 to 4 pints of bland liquid every day. This keeps the bladder `flushed’ free from bacteria.
2. Avoid using heavily perfumed soaps, deodorants or talc in the vaginal area. Try showering rather than bathing. Use a separate sponge or flannel for that area and keep it not only clean but dry.
3. Always wipe your bottom from front to back, as this helps prevent the spread of bacteria.
4. If you often get an attack of cystitis after sex, the use of a lubricant may be helpful, preventing soreness and bruising. This is easily available at the chemist (e.g. K-Y jelly), without a prescription. Ensure that you empty your bladder after intercourse as well.
5. Try and avoid wearing tight fitting clothes, especially if made from man-made fibres as these do not allow your skin to breathe. (Remember germs flourish in a warm and moist area).
What to do during an attack of cystitis:
1. Drink plenty – water is best. Aim to drink at least 3 glasses each hour for the next few hours or until symptoms improve. You need to drink 8 pints over the period of the day. If you suffer from heart disease, circulatory problems or high blood pressure; it is advisable to consult your doctor.
2. Mixing a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda with a glass of water each hour, for 3 hours only. It helps to stop the bacteria multiplying and your urine from stinging by making it less acidic. This is also the aim of cystitis treatments you can buy at the chemists without prescription. (If you have high blood pressure or a heart condition consult your GP or consultant before taking bicarbonate of soda).
3. If you have a fever or temperature, take 2 paracetamol tablets 6 hourly to ease your discomfort and lower your temperature. (The maximum dose of paracetamol is 8 tablets over a 24 hour period).
4. If possible, rest – lie down and make yourself comfortable.
5. Go to the toilet as often as necessary.
Prof T C Li
7 Williamson Road
Tel: 0114 2550365