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Cystitis Treatment

Cystitis is a urinary tract infection (UTI) which is an infection of the bladder usually caused by bacteria from the gastrointestinal tract. It usually affects women, and is commonly more of a nuisance than a cause for serious concern. The Family Clinician can help you with a simple short course of antibiotics without the need of a face-to-face doctor consultation.

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Frequently asked questions

Cystitis is a common urinary tract infection (UTI) that primarily affects women, although men can also experience it. It is characterized by inflammation of the bladder caused by bacteria entering the urethra and multiplying in the urinary tract. Cystitis can be painful and disruptive, but there are several preventive measures you can take to maintain a healthy urinary tract and minimize the risk of developing this condition. Women are more prone to cystitis due to their shorter urethra, which allows bacteria to reach the bladder more easily.

A course of Nitrofurantoin (Macrobid) or Trimethoprim which are antibiotics can be used to clear the bacteria in a matter of days. You can also use painkillers and a lot of water to relieve symptoms such as abdominal pain or pain when urinating. Fill in our online consultation and we can offer you the most suitable antibiotic to help treat your infection.
Nitrofurantoin works in a different way from other antibiotics. When you take it by mouth, most of it gets filtered out of your blood and into your pee. This concentrates the medicine right among the bacteria causing the urinary tract infection. Nitrofurantoin kills the bacteria by entering their cells and damaging their genetic material. Trimethoprim kills bacteria by stopping them making a substance called folic acid, which they need to survive.
It is important the entire course is completed so all the bacteria are eradicated. Make sure you read the patient information leaflet carefully as there may be hints and tips on how to use your medication correctly or feel free to call us for some advice. However, there can be occassions where the treatments don’t work or suit you. In this case we recommend you contact your GP at your earliest opportunity for further advice.

Dehydration can lead to a UTI

Common symptoms of dehydration:

  • Feeling thirsty.
  • Dark coloured or strong smelling urine.
  • Urinating little and less than 4 times a day.
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded.
  • Headache.
  • Dry mouth, lips and eyes.
Prevent dehydration:
•Drink 1½ to 2 litres (3 to 4 pints) a day – unless you have been advised to restrict your fluid intake.
•Keep taking small sips and gradually drink more if you can.
•Drink if you have diarrhoea or vomiting.
•Drink more if you are sweating.
•Drink enough during the day so that your urine is clear to light yellow in colour.
what colour is your urine

Maintaining Proper Hygiene

Maintaining proper hygiene is essential for preventing cystitis. It is crucial to wipe from front to back after using the toilet to avoid introducing bacteria from the anal region to the urethra. Additionally, using mild, fragrance-free soaps and avoiding harsh chemicals in feminine hygiene products can help maintain a balanced pH level in the genital area, reducing the risk of infections.

Staying Hydrated

Drinking an adequate amount of water is vital for maintaining a healthy urinary tract. Hydration helps flush out bacteria from the urinary system, preventing their colonization in the bladder. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water a day to promote proper urine production and keep your urinary tract well-flushed.

Urinating Regularly

Ensure that you urinate regularly, as holding urine for extended periods can increase the risk of bacterial growth. Urinating helps flush out bacteria that may have entered the urethra. Make it a habit to urinate whenever you feel the need, and avoid delaying bathroom breaks, especially after sexual activity.

Avoiding Irritants

Certain irritants can exacerbate the symptoms of cystitis and increase the risk of infection. To prevent cystitis, it is advisable to avoid irritants such as bubble baths, strong perfumes, douches, and harsh toilet paper. These substances can irritate the urethra and disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the urinary tract.

Wearing Breathable Underwear

Wearing breathable cotton underwear can help prevent cystitis. Cotton allows air circulation and reduces moisture in the genital area, creating an unfavorable environment for bacteria to thrive. Avoid tight-fitting underwear or synthetic materials that can trap heat and moisture, as this can increase the risk of infection.

Dietary Considerations

Maintaining a healthy diet is crucial for preventing cystitis. Avoid excessive consumption of sugary and processed foods, as they can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the urinary tract. Instead, focus on a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. These foods provide essential nutrients and support a strong immune system, reducing the risk of infections.

Cranberry Juice and Supplements

Cranberry juice and supplements have long been associated with urinary tract health. They contain compounds that may prevent bacteria from adhering to the walls of the bladder, reducing the likelihood of infection. Incorporating cranberry juice or supplements into your routine may offer some protection against cystitis, but it is essential to choose unsweetened options to avoid excessive sugar intake.

Probiotics for Urinary Health

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can promote a healthy urinary tract. They help maintain a balanced microbial environment and prevent the overgrowth of harmful bacteria. Consuming probiotic-rich foods like yogurt or taking probiotic supplements regularly may help reduce the risk of cystitis and support overall urinary tract health.

Emptying Your Bladder After Intercourse

Emptying your bladder shortly after sexual intercourse can help flush out any bacteria that may have entered the urethra during the activity. Urinating after sex reduces the chances of bacteria reaching the bladder and causing an infection. It is a simple yet effective preventive measure that can significantly lower the risk of cystitis.

Strengthening Your Immune System

A robust immune system plays a vital role in preventing cystitis and other infections. To strengthen your immune system, focus on a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, sufficient sleep, stress management, and a nutrient-rich diet. Incorporating immune-boosting foods like citrus fruits, leafy greens, and nuts can provide essential vitamins and minerals to support your immune system.

Practicing Safe Sexual Behaviors

Practicing safe sexual behaviors can help prevent cystitis caused by sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Using barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms, can reduce the risk of contracting and spreading STIs that can lead to urinary tract infections. Additionally, maintaining open communication with your partner about sexual health and getting regular STI screenings can contribute to a healthy urinary tract.

Avoiding Excessive Use of Antibiotics

While antibiotics are essential for treating bacterial infections, excessive use can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the urinary tract. This disruption can make you more susceptible to recurring infections, including cystitis. Avoid self-medication and only take antibiotics when prescribed by a healthcare professional. If you experience recurrent cystitis, consult your doctor to determine the underlying cause and explore alternative preventive strategies.

Managing Stress Levels

Chronic stress weakens the immune system, making the body more vulnerable to infections. Stress can also affect bladder function and increase the frequency of urination. To prevent cystitis, incorporate stress management techniques into your routine, such as regular exercise, mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, and engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation.

Yes, cystitis is more common in women due to their shorter urethra, which allows bacteria to reach the bladder more easily.

Cranberry juice may offer some protection against cystitis by preventing bacteria from adhering to the bladder walls. However, it is important to choose unsweetened options to avoid excessive sugar intake.

To strengthen your immune system, focus on a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, sufficient sleep, stress management, and a nutrient-rich diet.

Probiotics can help maintain a healthy urinary tract by supporting a balanced microbial environment. Consuming probiotic-rich foods or taking supplements regularly may help reduce the risk of cystitis.

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